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Religion and Film

Representation, Experience, Meaning

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Stefanie Knauss

Is cinema evil, or sacramental? Can films make theological contributions? Can film-viewing be a religious practice? How do films, values and power interact? The study of film and religion engages a range of diverse questions through different approaches and methods. In this contribution, I distinguish three complementary approaches. In the first part, I discuss those that focus on the film as text, the representation of religion in film, and how theology happens in film. The next section will broaden this perspective by taking into consideration how films affect audiences, and how the relationship between film and audience might have religious dimensions or serve religious functions. In the third part, attention to the text and the audience are combined with the consideration of both film and religion as agents in cultural processes in order to think about how film and religion are shaped by and shape value systems and ideologies. In the last section I will begin to tackle the difficult question of theory and method. I consciously postpone this part until the end because, in many cases, methodologies and theoretical frameworks are implied in and emerge from concrete case studies rather than being consciously reflected upon. This final section has two goals: it will make explicit some of these underlying assumptions to serve as a starting point for a more sustained reflection on the theories and methodologies of the field, and it will highlight some of the pitfalls we encounter if we are not methodologically and theoretically precise in our work.

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Edited by Mary Hollingsworth, Miles Pattenden and Arnold Witte

A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal is the first comprehensive overview of its subject in English or any language. Cardinals are best known as the pope’s electors, but in the centuries from 1400 to 1800 they were so much more: pastors, inquisitors, diplomats, bureaucrats, statesmen, saints; entrepreneurs and investors; patrons of the arts, of music, literature, and science. Thirty-five essays explain their social background, positions and roles in Rome and beyond, and what they meant for wider society. This volume shows the impact which those men who took up the purple had in their respective fields and how their tenure of office shaped the entangled histories of Rome and the Catholic Church from a European and global perspective.

Dispersals and Diversification

Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Early Stages of Indo-European

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Edited by Matilde Serangeli and Thomas Olander

Dispersals and diversification offers linguistic and archaeological perspectives on the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of the Indo-European language family.
Two chapters discuss the early phases of the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European from an archaeological perspective, integrating and interpreting the new evidence from ancient DNA. Six chapters analyse the intricate relationship between the Anatolian branch of Indo-European, probably the first one to separate, and the remaining branches. Three chapters are concerned with the most important unsolved problems of Indo-European subgrouping, namely the status of the postulated Italo-Celtic and Graeco-Armenian subgroups. Two chapters discuss methodological problems with linguistic subgrouping and with the attempt to correlate linguistics and archaeology.

Contributors are David W. Anthony, Rasmus Bjørn, José L. García Ramón, Riccardo Ginevra, Adam Hyllested, James A. Johnson, Kristian Kristiansen, H. Craig Melchert, Matthew Scarborough, Peter Schrijver, Matilde Serangeli, Zsolt Simon, Rasmus Thorsø, Michael Weiss.

The Transformations of Tragedy

Christian Influences from Early Modern to Modern

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Edited by Fionnuala O’Neill Tonning, Erik Tonning and Jolyon Mitchell

The Transformations of Tragedy: Christian Influences from Early Modern to Modern explores the influence of Christian theology and culture upon the development of post-classical Western tragedy. The volume is divided into three parts: early modern, modern, and contemporary. This series of essays by established and emergent scholars offers a sustained study of Christianity’s creative influence upon experimental forms of Western tragic drama.
Both early modern and modern tragedy emerged within periods of remarkable upheaval in Church history, yet Christianity’s diverse influence upon tragedy has too often been either ignored or denounced by major tragic theorists. This book contends instead that the history of tragedy cannot be sufficiently theorised without fully registering the impact of Christianity in transition towards modernity.

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Eric Ziolkowski

Religion and literature is the study of interrelationships between religious or theological traditions and literary traditions, both oral and written, with special attention to religious or theological underpinnings of, influences upon, and reflections in, individual “texts” (oral and written) or authors’ oeuvres. Religion and Literature: History and Method by Eric Ziolkowski considers the origins and history of, and methods employed in, that scholarly enterprise, focusing on the dual construals of “literature” in religious studies (as a body of sacred writings and as writing valued for artistic merit); the problematics of defining “religion”; the transformation of theology and literature as a “field” (pioneered by Nathan A. Scott Jr. et al.) to religion and literature; the affiliated fields of myth criticism, and of biblical reception; and the institutionalization, globalization, and future of the study of religion and literature.

Golan Moskowitz

Abstract

This article analyzes the late Maurice Sendak’s (1928–2012) entry into the field of children’s picture books in the midtwentieth century and his contribution to the affective shift in children’s literature. It examines Sendak’s complex social position and artistic development in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as lesser-known illustrations by Sendak, including collaborations with Ruth Krauss and with the artist’s brother, Jack. These works began to respond to Sendak’s own childhood as a queer son of Eastern European Yiddish-speaking immigrants. They also offered new potential mirrors for midcentury children—perhaps especially queer and otherwise marginalized children—as they navigated cultural gaps between home and the public sphere, as well as between personal orientations and the social pressures of postwar America.

Maya Balakirsky Katz