- Hardcover: 191 pages
- Publisher: Baylor University Press (March 19, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481304291
- ISBN-13: 978-1481304290
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,618,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Profane Parables: Film and the American Dream Hardcover – March 19, 2016
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"Rindge is both sensitive and insightful in his film analysis, and the discussion of these movies as parables takes the analysis to a whole new level of sophistication. This book would be a very useful addition to both American Studies and 'religion and film' classes, as well as classes in New Testament parables."―Robert K. Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Fantastic! This is a perfect study that brings together both Rindge's own deep expertise in New Testament studies and his agile, interdisciplinary approach to popular culture. The films Rindge has selected are perfect vehicles for his fine-tuned analysis, both in terms of the aesthetics and meaning of film, but even more compellingly, his own perspectives on American culture generally and the mythic realities of the American dream."―Gary Laderman, Goodrich C. White Professor of American Religious History and Cultures, Emory University
"My gratitude to Matthew Rindge for recognizing and brilliantly dissecting the quest for salvation that supports the surface sound and fury of my novel and David Fincher's film."―Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club
"provid[es] enlightening textual analysis throughout . . . this is a wonderful piece of work. With its simple and at the same time in-depth treatment of the subject, this study should garner a large audience. . . . Highly recommended." --Choice
"Rindge's Profane Parables is an excellent work. It will appeal greatly to scholars of American Studies, film, religion, and popular culture." --The Journal of Popular Culture
"would serve well as a supplementary resource within film and theology courses ... its balance between an accessible tone and an academic prowess would be best used in an undergraduate course ... a sobering and subversive book which seeks to pursue a new sort of dream." -Journal of Religion and Film
"a meaningful addition to the field of Bible and film and is highly recommended to those who want to explore the cultural and spiritual interconnections between Hollywood cinema and the Bible." -The Bible and Critical Theory
About the Author
Matthew S. Rindge is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University.
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Matthew Rindge makes a solid case for his premise, but his book is important more for the discussion it will promote than simply for his writing. He traces the history and illusion of the American Dream, identifies the parable as an inherently subversive narrative, and demonstrates how three American films at the turn of the millennium fulfill the requirements identifying as modern parables.
The post-reading dialogue stemming from this book matters because currently, most readers of parables have lost any sense their subversive nature due to generations of religious normalization. The same readers are also likely to dismiss these films superficially for violating their sense of decorum and morality. The secular viewer, by contrast, may miss some of the sacred nature of the themes in the films, perhaps not supposing that loss of faith may itself be part of what makes faith possible.
Rindge uses Fight Club, American Beauty, and About Schmidt to illustrate his points, but the implicit suggestion is that the viewer could choose a handful of other cinematic choices to either corroborate or challenge Rindge's premise (I'd probably choose Buffalo '66, Memento, and Hurlyburly). I'd like to see this idea of film choice explored further especially as it might be voiced by female writers and writers of color.
Recommended for use in classes of various disciplines.
Between the first two words of his title, "Profane Parables," and the last two words of his final conclusion, "...religious vitality." Matthew Rindge unravels our collective existential labyrinth.
In the United States of America at least, religion does not own Christianity, Christianity does not own Jesus and Jesus (though ceaslessly inspiring anew) does not own the parable.
As one of many possible types of narrative form, Matthew zeroes in on the trait that sets the parable apart from its story-telling siblings and cousins: its subversive nature.
From cave walls to oratory, text to theatre in the round, human advancement has depended on our abilities to pass along lessons learned to future generations through engaging story.
Through the magnifying glasses of three representative works of the millennium's turn, Rindge adeptly illustrates how immersive cinematic experience can illuminate collective misperceptions.
In peeling back layers and offering up grist for the mill, Profane Parables challenges us to investigate where exactly all might communally recognize sacred meaning.
If you're up for a fight, down for a closer look and ready to surrender, dive into Profane Parables.