Cinema and Sentiment: Film's Challenge to Theology
An examination of the contemporary theological significance of film-watching. What do films do to people? What do people do with films? All film-watching happens within a cultural context. Cinema and Sentiment critically examines the practice of film-watching in Western culture. Exploring cinema-going as leisure activity and by comparing film-watching with worship, Clive Marsh demonstrates aspects of the religious function of film-watching. Through a variety of case-studies on the habit of cinema-going (including studies of the films of Robin Williams, and of the Coen brothers) Marsh's study shows how film-watching as a regular practice can contribute to the shaping of human living. Drawing on the 'cognitive frameworks' within whcih viewers watch films, Marsh explores the interaction between film and theology in two popular films: The Shawshank Redemption and Titanic. Engaging with social and religious behaviour patterns in western culture, Cinema and Sentiment suggests a need to recover a positive sense of 'sentiment', both in theology and film.Two concluding chapters locate the text in recent studies of theology and film, offering church leaders, students of theology and film studies, and all those with an interest in contemporary culture practical consequences of the work's findings.