Depending on to whom you listen, religion in America is either in big decline or is doing just fine. On the one hand, over half of all Americans (56%) count themselves members of a religious institution such as a church or synagogue. On the other, actual belief may be in the doldrums. One year ago, Gallup reported that the American public held organized religion in the lowest esteem in six decades. A year later, however, the numbers have rebounded. Who's to explain the change, or what it means? Surely, the nation's culture-makers - including a powerful film industry that controls billions of dollars and exports ideas and culture across the globe - must play a central role. Just witness the recent furor over Mel Gibson's cinematic life of Jesus, The Passion of the Christ (2004). Is Gibson's reverent recreation single-handedly resurrecting American Christianity? Or is it just another episode in Hollywood's long passion for themes biblical?
"Biblical Allusions, Biblical Illusions: Hollywood Blockbuster and Scripture,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 8
, Article 11.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol8/iss1/11