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A Spiritual Blockbuster: Avatar, Environmentalism, and the New Religions

A Spiritual Blockbuster: Avatar, Environmentalism, and the New Religions A Spiritual Blockbuster: Avatar, Environmentalism, and the New Religions cynthia erb over the pa st ten ye ars, religious studies as fringe phenomena. On the contrary, I argue scholars have used newly acquired knowledge in this article that the new religions help us to of film history and theory to support pathbreak- understand that religion and spirituality play a ing research in the area of religion and film. foundational role in contemporary commercial Although valuable work on religion and film has filmmaking. New religious aspects appear in emerged in media studies, the field’s coverage numerous contemporary blockbusters, includ- of this topic has not kept pace with religious ing Avatar ( James Cameron, 2009)—my primary studies. I believe media studies scholars example. In the first part of this article, I lay out should look to religious studies methods for the area of the new religions, concentrating on a ways of constructing interdisciplinary projects large shift away from formal religion and toward in this area. In this spirit, I take up work on the forms of spirituality that are often personal and new religions to survey changes in the way Hol- nontheistic. This part maps a wide context for a lywood http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Film and Video University of Illinois Press

A Spiritual Blockbuster: Avatar, Environmentalism, and the New Religions

Journal of Film and Video , Volume 66 (3) – Aug 29, 2014

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
ISSN
1934-6018

Abstract

A Spiritual Blockbuster: Avatar, Environmentalism, and the New Religions cynthia erb over the pa st ten ye ars, religious studies as fringe phenomena. On the contrary, I argue scholars have used newly acquired knowledge in this article that the new religions help us to of film history and theory to support pathbreak- understand that religion and spirituality play a ing research in the area of religion and film. foundational role in contemporary commercial Although valuable work on religion and film has filmmaking. New religious aspects appear in emerged in media studies, the field’s coverage numerous contemporary blockbusters, includ- of this topic has not kept pace with religious ing Avatar ( James Cameron, 2009)—my primary studies. I believe media studies scholars example. In the first part of this article, I lay out should look to religious studies methods for the area of the new religions, concentrating on a ways of constructing interdisciplinary projects large shift away from formal religion and toward in this area. In this spirit, I take up work on the forms of spirituality that are often personal and new religions to survey changes in the way Hol- nontheistic. This part maps a wide context for a lywood

Journal

Journal of Film and VideoUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 29, 2014

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