God in Movies
Instructions: Discuss culture in relation to images of God. Many of the movies we’ve seen are from different time periods, genres, or appeal to different audiences. What is the significance of these different cultural contexts, and what might this say about how God is presented in movies? What do sociologists besides Bergesen and Greeley say about culture, images of God, or symbols in general?
Discuss gender in relation to images of God. What is the significance of “gendered” images of God in movies? Does the gender of God matter? What do sociologists besides Bergesen and Greeley say about gender, images of God, or symbols in general?
God can be present in different roles, e.g. as a parent, lover, friend, mentor, etc. What do these roles say about God? How do movies (or other forms of culture) utilize these images?
Present an original (i.e. not duplicated from prior assignments) topic/question and address fully. The topic of the paper must be CLEAR in your introduction.
Cite at least FOUR films and discuss clear examples from each to support your points.
*Crash, Field of dreams, City of Angels, Man of Steel
Include AT LEAST three appropriate citations from course readings. – From the book: God in the movies
Cite at least ONE outside, academic source.
Your paper should NOT:
Provide movie reviews or summaries. I have seen these films and trust that you have, too. Recounts of plots or scenes should only be used when they are illustrating a point you are trying to make; even then, they don’t need to be lengthy. If you find you need to fill space, it probably means your topic is too narrow.
God in Movies
According to (Greeley, 1997), he stipulates that contemporary movies of today have revealed some elements of religion and portrayal of images of God. Nevertheless, sociologists such as Max Weber and Emile Durkheim are involved in the broad study of religion about movies. Even though sociologists disapprove of religion. Sociologists argue that persistence of God in movies as an” unobtrusive” measure of the continued importance of religion. This paper will discuss how different movies display the images and characteristics of God.
Basing our understanding of God in the religious views, it is evident that at least every religion in the world have faith in that God is a parent. Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God. The movie Man of Steel clearly portrays this characteristic of God. This movie depicts that Man of Steel is like Jesus, our Savior who died for our sins. About Man of Steel, Clark Kent is portrayed as a supernatural human being who has powers. He does not use these to do wrong, but he uses them to save people just as Jesus the Son of God performed healing powers to save humans from their misery. Now, as a review of God being a parent, God takes care of his children just as Man of Steel takes care of humanity to protect them against calamities or criminal activities. With this rationale, we can conclude that Man of Steel is portrayed as a son of God as Kent’s father, Jor-El, sends him to earth in a Moses-style and says that his son will be like a God to those who live on earth. Alternatively, the Movie Crash, as a father, Daniel is shielding her young personality from the fundamental reality of the world for only somewhat more. In any case, he has a comparative wonderfully dedicated gullibility. He displays the conviction that making the best decision, playing reasonable, buckling down and administering to your family will, at last, keep you and your friends and family sheltered. Moreover, after that, he “crashes” into a store owner who will challenge that conviction.
According to biblical accounts of creation, God is portrayed as a person who loves His creation, numerous movies have portrayed the love of God to humanity. For example, in the film Field of Dreams, it is revealed that God speaks to his people so that they guide them in their careers. Ray is faced with financial difficulties as per the movie; his mortgage hangs in the balance but the follows the Voice to the later in building a baseball field. Christianity suggests that God’s Voice speaks lead people to no conviction as He does not spell out the details. According to my understanding, the Voice in the Movie is God’s voice speaking to Ray. Ray obeys this voice and makes decisions through this Voice. In the film, Ray says “Until I heard the Voice, I’d never done a crazy thing in my life.” Ray followed this voice and went ahead building a baseball diamond right in the middle of his cornfield. This movie tries to reveal the caring and loving nature of God as he speaks to Ray to make such decisions it helps Ray later on in the movie. Ray goes ahead listening to this Voice, and it happens that the field sprawls out of the horizon helping other and Ray (Robinson, 1989). From a religious perspective, God will guide us but will not clearly stipulate what He plans for us.
Bergesen and Greeley (2003), clarifies that movies depict the presence of God. In comparison to the most of the movies, it is evident that in the film City of Angels, the angels symbolize the presence of God. Additionally, throughout the movie, God is mentioned countless times and the movies illustrates that when one dies, he or she goes to Heaven. Also, In the Motion Picture Fast liners, it explains into a persistence and basic empathetic to divine nature of God. Dave Lubricious death ordeal indicates divinity, as he says that he felt to some degree a divine power supervising him on his voyage to the afterlife (Schumacher, 1990). Also, while characters did not die after a happenstance with the divine presence of God, they seemed to be totally wrong about their lives. Additionally, the presence of angels like Seth and other signifies the presence of God in movies.
Also, according to (Bergesen & Greeley, 2003), films showcase the promise of salvation. For example, in the movie Dracula, the legends and custom of Van Helsing propose that the best weapons in fighting otherworldly fiendishness are images of unearthly great. Inevitably, in the battle against Dracula, these pictures of good appearance as the symbols of Christian confidence, for example, the cross. The movie has also put resources into the quality and force of these Christian images that it peruses, now and again, similar to a propagandistic Christian guarantee of salvation. Dracula, basically as old as religion itself, remains as a satanic figure, most clearly in his appearance—pointed ears, teeth, and flaring eyes—additionally in his utilization of blood. Dracula’s bloodthirstiness is a depravity of Christian custom, as it develops his physical life yet cuts him off from any otherworldly presence. The individuals who fall under the tally’s spell, including Lucy Westenra and the three “peculiar sisters,” get themselves reviled with physical life that is unceasing however cruel. Stoker goes to considerable lengths to stress the results of these ladies’ decimation (Fisher, 1958).
Also, producers and directors of movies have put in efforts to integrate culture and rituals in movies. For instance, all through the film Life of Pi, characters accomplish solace through the act of customs. Creatures will be animals of propensity, as Pi sets up at an opportune time when he takes note of that zookeepers can tell if something is not right with their creatures just by seeing changes in their everyday activities. Individuals, as well, get to be married to their schedules, even to the point of consistency and become disturbed amid times of progress. While religious customs are an original case of custom in this film, there are various others. For example, Pi’s mom needs to purchase cigarettes before heading out to Canada, for apprehension that she will not have the capacity to locate her particular image in Winnipeg (Lee, 2012). Also, Pi can survive his maritime experience to a great extent since he makes a progression of the day by day ceremonies to manage him. Without customs, schedules, and propensities, the novel infers, individuals feel uneasy and unmoored. Customs offer structure to digest thoughts and feelings—at the end of the day, culture is a substitute narrating (Lee, 2012).
Conclusively, it is important to note that,
movies are the entertainment medium of the current world. Authors are doing
their best to reveal characteristics of God, religion and culture that to which we belong. Notably, sociologists had research and concluded that with the depiction that we as human portray in films, it
is evident that people try to belong and identify themselves in either religion
or spiritual perspective. Characteristics of God are evident in contemporary
movies not just to create controversy but enable individuals to comprehend who we are and what we believe in.
Bergesen, A. J., & Greeley, A. M. (2003). God in the Movies. Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Deacy, C. (2012). Screening the Afterlife: Theology, Eschatology, and Film. New York: Routledge.
Fisher, T. (Director). (1958). Dracula [Motion Picture].
Greeley, A. M. (1997, April). Images of God in the Movies. Journal of Religion and Film, 1(1), 2.
Lee, A. (Director). (2012). Life of Pi [Motion Picture].
Robinson, P. A. (Director). (1989). Field of Dreams [Motion Picture].
Schumacher, J. (Director). (1990). Flatliners [Motion Picture].
Silberling, B. (Director). (1998). City of Angels [Motion Picture].