2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Jesus Films: Shaping the American Portrayal of Jesus
Erin N. Gill
Dr. Mark Appold, Faculty Mentor

The quest for the historical Jesus has been a long one, with historians, philosophers, and theologians struggling for centuries with questions like who this man was, what he did, and whether claims made about him were true. This search for Jesus has not been limited to the scholarly circle alone, however. In America especially, the search has moved further and further into popular culture, particularly in the last century. Many factors played into the immense growth of the search for Jesus in 20th century America. This paper will focus on one of those factors: the rise of the film industry and its close relationship with religion. The film industry, particularly in "Jesus films", has played a vital role in the shaping of Americas view of Jesus and in his removal from the Church and placement in popular culture. This paper will explore the implications and consequences of such a placement.

Keywords: Jesus, Film, Popular Culture, America, Religion, Christianity

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 60-1
Location: OP 2121
Time: 2:30

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