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Plate Publishes Book on Religion and Film


From faint-inducing horror films to science fiction mythologies, from the rituals of midnight screenings to film-inspired pilgrimage, cinema and religious life are intertwined. This the premise of the new edition of Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-Creation of the World, by Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies Brent Rodriguez Plate

Originally published in 2009, this revised and expanded edition is 60% larger, with all of the previous work radically revised. Plate sees it as a new book that brings his work in the field over the past decade up to date. 

Publisher Columbia University Press describes Religion and Film this way: “Explorations of film show how the cinematic experience relies on similar aesthetic devices on which religious rituals have long relied: sight, sound, the taste of food, the body, and communal experience. Meanwhile, a deeper understanding of the aesthetic nature of religious rituals can alter our understanding of film production. Utilizing terminology and theoretical insights from the study of religion as well as the study of film, Religion and Film shows that by paying attention to the ways films are constructed, we can shed new light on the ways religious myths and rituals are constructed and vice versa.”

David Chidester of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, said, “Plate gives us the best introduction into the exploration of religion and film by brilliantly interweaving the worldmaking of religious myths and rituals, sacred times, and spaces, with the worldmaking of cinema.” 

Peter Matthews of the University of the Arts London said, “Plate’s unfailingly perceptive mise-en-scène analysis discovers the visual mythologizing at work in an eclectic filmography ranging from George Lucas to Dziga Vertov and Stan Brakhage. At the same time, he remains critically aware of politics and ideology, attempting a more inclusive definition of religion that goes beyond the dogmatic and the doctrinal. A wonderfully syncretic study that offers an amazing bricolage of ideas.”

Contact Information


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