THE HIDDEN JESUS WITHIN POPULAR FILMS: CHRIST-FIGURES AS SACRED SUBTEXTS

Anton Karl Kozlovic

Abstract


Jesus films abound, but less appreciated are the numerous hidden Jesus characters built into popular films, the Christ-figures. Although their existence, re-discovery and crafting is an ever-burgeoning area of academic religious discourse, Christfigures are frequently ignored by critics, unappreciated by film fans, or resisted by religionists and anti-religionists alike for a variety of unwholesome reasons. Using textually based, humanist film criticism as the analytical lens, a brief survey of the popular cinema and associated critical literature was conducted to identify, illustrate and explicate this religious phenomenon. Five categories were explored herein, namely: (1) “normal” Christ-figures, (2) alien Christ-figures; (3) female Christ-figures; (4) animal Christ-figures; and (5) inanimate Christ-figures. It was concluded that the field is a living genre whose future looks undiminished in the foreseeable future, and whose pedagogic utility for religious education has not been fully tapped to date. Further research into this exciting interdisciplinary field was recommended.

 


Keywords


Christ-figures; Jesus-figures; Jesus films



DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/85-0-1112

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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