Films, as critics and cineastes will tell you, are in the main vapid and vacuous, and Hollywood the prime purveyor of bubblegum blather. Occasionally, however, a film will come along that sparks debate and/or resonates with cinemagoers' deepest-held beliefs.
And a little polemic is exactly what three lecturers from the Department of Religious Studies were after when they recently introduced a cinematic element to their second-year course on religion and society. Over the semester-long course, Professor Jim Cochrane, Sa'diyya Shaikh and Raffaella Della Donna will be screening films (mainstream, documentary and art house) that will serve as fulcrum for discussion and writing in class.
"Films provide a visual encounter, portraying immediate and sensory dimensions of a religious tradition that cannot always be conveyed in lectures," said Shaikh of the new additions to the course. "We also hoped that it would give people, in some way, a deeper insight into aspects of the lived reality of religions."
The Screening the Sacred: A religion-in-film festival kicked off with Roland Joffe's The Mission, starring Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons. The Crucible, the 1996 cinematic version of playwright Arthur Miller's play with Daniel Day-Lewis and long-fingered Winona Ryder, as well as Norman Jewison's adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar have already been screened.
The rest of the line-up is:
The films are screened at 16h00 in Leslie Social Science lecture theatre 2C. Everyone is welcome.
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