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Teaching Religion and Violence$
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Brian K. Pennington

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372427.001.0001

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Believing is Seeing

Believing is Seeing

Teaching Religion and Violence in Film

Chapter:
(p.185) Chapter 8 Believing is Seeing
Source:
Teaching Religion and Violence
Author(s):

Ken Derry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372427.003.0008

Instead of using movies as examples or manifestations of sacred phenomena, this essay encourages teachers of religion to take advantage of film’s capacity to highlight the human process of and tendency toward creating meaning. As a resource for encouraging students to examine how they and others make meaning of “religion and violence,” film also facilitates critical inquiry into the intersection of those two concepts. In part this is because students typically feel more confident discussing movies—especially popular ones—than they do discussing texts. They can be brought into very active, detailed conversations about religion and violence that otherwise might be more difficult to instigate. This chapter outlines and reflects upon various ways such conversations might be generated in movies that highlight religious zeal, politics, gender, race, myth, and colonialism. Specific films discussed include Groundhog Day, Walking Tall, The Dark Knight, The Lion King, Ghost, The Usual Suspects and Once Were Warriors.

Keywords:   film, movies, superheroes, gender and film, colonialism, Christ-figures

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