Jesus on Film

Article by Gerald Forshey

In 1954, encouraged by new scholarship on Jesus’ life and by the rising tide of church membership and attendance, the Episcopal Church helped finance a film on the life of Jesus, The Day of Triumph. It forthrightly pictured Jesus full-face for the first time since DeMille’s King of Kings (1927). The film portrayed Judas as …

Larger Than Life: Religious Functions of Television

Article by Peter Horsfield

Redefining the religious Traditionally the scientific study of religion had been limited to those aspects of life and culture explicitly linked with belief in a supernatural being or forces. Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, for example, proposed that the study of religion is concerned with "the traditional acts and observances, regarded by the natives as sacred, carried …

Mister Rogers

Article by Carol Zaleski

In the two decades since MTV captured the restless souls and short attention spans of our youth, it has become increasingly evident that teaching and learning require new strategies. The classroom lecture is dead, reading is an endangered art, and memorization belongs next to exorcism in the dustbin of discarded teaching arts. To engage the …

Not Global Villagers, but Global Voyeurs

Article by Randall K. Bush

Thirty years ago, Marshall McLuhan struck the public fancy with pithy and perceptive theories on mass media. Several of his terms are still bandied about. "Global village," for example, crops up on magazine covers and in conversations among cocktail-party sociologists. Unfortunately, the "global village" does not exist. McLuhan’s thinking on the subject began with the …

Schemes from a Marriage

Article by Janet Karsten Lawson

The film, Scene’s from a Marriage, leaves unexamined the questions of how to redeem community in the larger society; it seems to have gone irrevocably to the devil as it has become technically more nearly perfect. Text: Ingmar Bergman’s film Scenes from a Marriage tells, like the Lenten season, a serialized story culminating in violence, …

Simpsons Have Soul

Article by John Dart

The enormous popularity of The Simpsons, now in its 12th television season, suggests that religious people have a sense of humor — contrary to the usual wisdom in Hollywood. The program takes more satirical jabs at spiritual matters than any other TV show, yet the erratic cartoon family has an appreciative audience among many people …