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Reading the Gospels in the Dark: Portrayals of Jesus in Film Paperback – October 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
How do the "Jesus films" compare to the canonical gospels? In Reading the Gospel in the Dark: Portrayals of Jesus in Film, religion professor Richard Walsh explores movies such as Jesus of Montreal, Shane, Godspell and The Greatest Story Ever Told. He argues that Jesus films are cultural and ideological products, and he arranges them into five basic eras, showing how they reflect the tensions and hopes of different periods of the 20th century. The book's tone and language can be academic at times, but Walsh's insights into religion and popular culture are often fascinating.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Richard Walsh’s monograph is a most welcome addition to the quickly expanding interdisciplinary field of Bibles and films. It offers two introductory chapters to bring the reader up to date in the arena, many helpful observations and thoughts about Jesus and Christ films, as well as a razor-sharp sketch of the Americanization of Jesuses in movies…. The book is indeed well structured and well written. It offers many helpful explanations of details, especially about biblical materials and results of biblical scholarship…. Walsh’s always-worthwhile discussion is very sophisticated, incorporating many insights not only from biblical and film studies, but also from aesthetics, cultural and literary studies, and, last but not least, philosophy…. Walsh’s book, therefore, seems to be foremost a scholarly work, and a highly recommended one at that because of its masterful and highly stimulating discussions of the manifold interconnections between Gospels and Jesus films.” –Jan. W. van Henten, Society of Biblical Literature, September 2004
"Walsh skilfully uses the celluloid Jesuses to comment on the gospel Jesuses, and the gospel Jesuses to comment on the celluloid Jesuses. This would be a wonderful textbook for a course on Jesus and film."—Stephen D. Moore, Professor of New Testmanent, The Theological School, Drew University (Stephen D. Moore)
"In his stimulating analysis of the development of so-called 'Jesusmovies,' Richard Walsh manages to blend the fresh insights ofcontemporary New Testament investigation with dynamic social-literarytheory in a way that will serve students of the Bible and media for manyyears to come!" —Clayton N. Jefford, Professor of Scripture at SaintMeinrad School of Theology, St. Meinrad, Indiana (Clayton N. Jefford)
"In his stimulating analysis of the development of so-called 'Jesus movies,' Richard Walsh manages to blend the fresh insights of contemporary New Testament investigation with dynamic social-literary theory in a way that will serve students of the Bible and media for many years to come!" —Clayton N. Jefford, Professor of Scripture at Saint Meinrad School of Theology, St. Meinrad, Indiana
"His [Walsh's] recognition of critical bias is refreshingly liberating as he casts his own hermeneutics of suspicion on imperialist interpretations of these films…Writing with a clear, engaging style, Walsh provides the necessary lights to enable others to see and create their own meanings on the shrouds of religious cinema. Recommended." -T. Lindvall, Regent University, Choice
"Writing with a clear, engaging style, Walsh provides the necessary lights to enable others to see and crate their own meanings on the shrouds of religious cinema. Recommended." -Choice
“…a comprehensive look at the canon of cinema devoted to the stories of Jesus and their relative merits…[a] solidly researched book on the subject that is particularly important with the release of The Passion of the Christ…” –Insights magazine (Australia), 5/04 (Insights)
“…a good resource for discussion groups.” –The Mennonite, 6/15/04 (Mennonite Quarterly Review)
“Richard Walsh’s new book on Jesus films is a welcome addition to the fairly rarified field of studies on Bible and film. In an upper-level course on the terms of content, but also in exposing literary and cinematic features that often go unnoticed in introductory texts. Well-written and perceptive. This is quite simply a ‘must-read’ for those who work either New Testament or religion and film.” –Journal of Religion & Film, September 2004
“This discussion brings together ‘Jesus films,’ the canonical Gospels, and American culture as partners in conversation. Walsh reveals insights that all three offer concerning literary and mythical features found in each as they intersect in the cinematic auditorium” –Interpretation, 1/05
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