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

A Spiritual Blockbuster: Avatar , Environmentalism, and the New Religions cynthia erb over the past ten years, religious studies scholars have used newly acquired knowledge of film history and theory to support pathbreaking research in the area of religion and film. Although valuable work on religion and film has emerged in media studies, the field's coverage of this topic has not kept pace with religious studies. I believe media studies scholars should look to religious studies methods for ways of constructing interdisciplinary projects in this area. In this spirit, I take up work on the new religions to survey changes in the way Hollywood addresses religion and spirituality. New religions are religions that have emerged in the recent past. Scholars define them according to different time frames: the past century, the post­World War II period, or the post-1960s period. I am using a prevalent model that defines the new religions as religions that have emerged since the 1960s. This is a moment that corresponds roughly to the emergence of the New American Cinema. I argue that sociological shifts chronicled in work on the new religions help to explain changes in the way religion and spirituality appear in contemporary Hollywood. The focus on new religions supports new ways of 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
Publisher site
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Abstract

cynthia erb over the past ten years, religious studies scholars have used newly acquired knowledge of film history and theory to support pathbreaking research in the area of religion and film. Although valuable work on religion and film has emerged in media studies, the field's coverage of this topic has not kept pace with religious studies. I believe media studies scholars should look to religious studies methods for ways of constructing interdisciplinary projects in this area. In this spirit, I take up work on the new religions to survey changes in the way Hollywood addresses religion and spirituality. New religions are religions that have emerged in the recent past. Scholars define them according to different time frames: the past century, the post­World War II period, or the post-1960s period. I am using a prevalent model that defines the new religions as religions that have emerged since the 1960s. This is a moment that corresponds roughly to the emergence of the New American Cinema. I argue that sociological shifts chronicled in work on the new religions help to explain changes in the way religion and spirituality appear in contemporary Hollywood. The focus on new religions supports new ways of

Journal

Journal of Film and VideoUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 29, 2014

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