Much work in the field of theology and film lacks a really theological focus. This book suggests a methodology based on the recognition of the imagination as the fundamental category in producing and interpreting film. The argument is presented that the imagination holds theological significance when it is conceived of in certain ways. As a result, the book adopts the paradigmatic imagination (an imagination which works within the paradigms of scripture) or theological imagination (one grounded in theological forms), which is both noetic (it is the image-making faculty of the mind) and almost ontological (it is that which draws human beings into the future which they are able to construct or bring into being).
Once the theological (paradigmatic) imagination has been identified and justified, its insights will be applied to Jesus films and Christ figure films asking whether or not they provide us with valid Christological understanding. Films with redemptive or salvific themes are discussed as is the popularity of mythical stories and animation. The final chapter will make the case that the engagement of the theological imagination with film is a method in practical theology.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1: Theology and Film: Emergence of a Subject
Chapter 2: Reading Texts and Living Narratives
Chapter 3: Fancy That: Theology and Imagination
Chapter 4: Imaginative Journeys: Theology and Film
Chapter 5: The Quest of the Cinematic Jesus
Chapter 6: The Search for the Cinematic Christ
Chapter 7: Praepatario Evangelica? Myth, Fantasty and Imagination
Chapter 8: Theology in Wonderland: The Role of Animation
Chapter 9: Salvation in Celluloid: Redemption at the Cinema
Dr Robert Pope is Senior Lecturer in Applied Theology at the University of Wales, Bangor and a minister of the United Reformed Church.
This important book is required reading for all concerned with theology and film. Dr. Pope provides a sophisticated and compelling account of the theological imagination as it bears upon, and is stimulated by, film; and careful analyses of such key terms as 'reality', 'fantasy', and 'escapism'. Religious insight, theological substance, cultural awareness and philosophical acumen are here blended to an unusual degree. I warmly congratulate Robert Pope on a fine piece of work.
Alan P. F. Sell. Milton Keynes
Salvation in Celluloid by Robert Pope was published by Continuum in July 2007 and is our 64382nd best seller. The ISBN for Salvation in Celluloid is 9780567032065.