Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate recently published two book chapters at the intersections of religion, film and contemporary culture. The first, titled “Religion and Film: Making Movies, Making Worlds,” appears in Religion and Culture: Contemporary Practices and Perspectives, edited by Vincent Biondo and Richard Hecht, and published by Fortress Press. The volume is an anthology of essays that look at the religious practices, including topics of violence, gender, nature, the arts, sports and more. Plate’s contribution argues for the ways cinema construes particular frames of reality in ways akin to religious traditions.
The other chapter is “A Nation Birthed in Blood: What Violent Cosmogonies in Film Tell Us about America,” published in From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America, edited by John Carlson and Jonathan Ebel, and published by the University of California Press. The volume includes essays by prominent scholars of religion who offer critical insights into the relations between violence and religion in the United States. Plate's chapter uses P.T. Anderson’s film There Will be Blood to investigate some of the violent activities bound up with myths surrounding the creation of a nation.