Plate's Views on Oscars Appear on CNN.com and Religion Dispatches

Brent Plate
Brent Plate

Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies Brent Plate’s perspectives on this year’s Oscar nominees and the themes conveyed by them appear on several major media sites including CNN.com, Religion Dispatches and beliefnet.com. In “Looking For Answers at the Oscars: A Guide to This Year’s Contenders” on Religion Dispatches, Plate say, “This year’s crop [of nominees] reflects anxieties (as well as promises) about who we are and who we might be becoming in and as humans, in our own skins—never mind the ‘prawns’ or ‘Na’vi.’


"Questions provoked by this year’s films include those concerning the nature of our selves in connection and collision with our families, our larger social institutional entanglements, and our own bodies. The other key theme, affecting each of the others, had to do with the ways new media technology is inserting itself into our intimate lives, and changing our identities, both public and private.”


In “Spirituality at the Oscars: What the nominations mean” on CNN’s site, Brent is quoted throughout the article. “It’s kind of an unusual year – almost all of the top films have relatively little explicit religious dimensions to them,” said Plate. “But these films are asking the same questions that religions ask: Where did we come from, how did we get here, where are we going and who are we?” Plate was also quoted about the theme of identity that he saw in many of the films, “especially our public identity versus our private identity. Things like social networking have changed that and even ‘The King’s Speech’ deals with who we are privately versus publicly.”


A beliefnet.com commentator referred readers to Plate’s piece on Religion Dispatches. “Religion Dispatches has a wonderful Oscars overview up, that considers the Oscar contenders in light of life's biggest questions about meaning and purpose. … Be sure to read the rest of Plate's article to see which movies are dealing with what major life themes.”

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