This unit will explore vibrant scholarly field that emerges from interplay between cinema studies and theology. Students will gain basic tools that will enable them in further critical exploration of the links between theology and motion picture. The unit will introduce methodological issues related the field of studies, while modern films will be introduced and analyzed. The main themes that will be treated include: Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Church and Eschatology. The main question that will be raised during the unit is how movies mediate theology, particularly how modern cinematography represents and interprets Jesus Christ and his life, as well as Christ-like figures.

Unit code: AR9200A

Unit status: Archived (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Religious Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Understand and explain the relationship between cinema studies and theology


Analyse theological motifs of a specific film, and technical modes of their articulation


Conduct an independent research project and engage critically with literature relevant to the study of interplay between theology and motion picture


Critically evaluate specific films in their attempt to articulate theology


Apply elements of the modern cinematography to ministry


The unit will engage students in analysis and theological reflection through the presentation of lectures, readings and engaging discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barsam, Richard Meran and Monahan, Dave. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2010.
  • Baugh, Lloyd. Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ-figures in Film. Lanham: Sheed and Ward, 1997.
  • Bergesen, Albert and Greeley, Andrew. God in the Movies. New Brunswick: Transaction Publisher, 2000.
  • Corrigan.T., White.P & Mazaj.M. Critical visions in film theory: classic and contemporary readings. Bedford. St Martins, 2011
  • Deacy, Christopher and Ortiz, Gaye. Theology and Film: Challenging the Sacred/Secular Divide. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
  • Deacy, Christopher. Screening the Afterlife: Theology, Eschatology and Film. Abingdon: Routledge, 2012.
  • Lyden, John (ed.). The Routledge Companion to Religion and Film. London, New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • Reinhartz, Adele. Jesus of Hollywood. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Tatum, Bernes W. Jesus at the Movies: A Guide to the First Hundred Years and Beyond (3rd ed.). Salem: Polebridge, 2013.
  • Walsh, Richard, G. Reading the Gospels in the Dark: Portrays of Jesus in Film. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2003.
  • Wright, Melanie J. Religion and Film: An Introduction. New York: Tauris, 2007.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Written Assessment Task 3000 words

0 50.0

Written Assessment Task Online Discussion Equivalent to 1500 words

0 25.0
Oral Presentation

Presentation Equivalent to 1500 words

0 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 5 Sep, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2023-09-06 13:22:58 +1000