Plate Publishes Articles on Religion in Movies, Music

S. Brent Plate
S. Brent Plate

Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate published an article titled “Getting Religion at the Cineplex” on the Annenberg School for Communication’s “Trans/Mission” website. He wrote about several recent films that “explore and provoke questions about what it means to be human.” Plate says although they may be speculative, films of this type help us conceptualize topics such as death and what comes next, life forms beyond what we know on earth and the integration of technology into our lives and bodies, in a way that traditional religious institutions and practices are unable to.


“Trans/Mission” serves as a “resource for journalists, including journalism educators and students seeking new models for covering politics, science, sex and gender among other key issues for the 21st century.”


In “The Varieties of Religious Experience in Indie Rock: A survey of the searching, ambivalent dark night of the indie soul” in Religion Dispatches, Plate notes a trend toward the incorporation of religious references in alternative rock, a genre not normally associated with sincere religious music. In contrast to Contemporary Christian Music in which God is “up there,” he says that the new indie rockers use religious references in their music as “resources for dealing with the struggles and joys of life in traditional religious terms. Religion is a resource, not to generate sellable lyrics, but to generate tactics for living life, and then to sing about that” and that “the new music sees a quasi-mystical immanence in the everyday.”


Religion Dispatches is an online magazine “dedicated to the analysis and understanding of religious forces in the world today.”

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