Hollywood is synonymous with the tradition of images that
are used to create emotion, to strengthen attachment, and to encourage imitation. In a certain
sense these values are also encouraged by the church as institution. Scholars who study the
connection between cinematography and theology acknowledge that the cinema has become
the ‘principal new church’ for post-secularised believers. Films are regarded among the ‘big
books’ of ‘postmodern culture’. In this article it is argued that film hermeneutics should be
regarded as an epistemological movement which has departed from a typographical culture,
including logocentrism, phonocentrism, and text-focused cognition. The movement is towards
a visual culture, including audiovisual and virtual realities, and is contextualised in a cybercommunity.
Tendencies in films with biblical and religious dimensions and themes, including
the way in which the Christ figure is portrayed, are discussed. In this article the value of film
hermeneutics – that is, the ‘textuality of the screen’ – as public theology, is also identified.
This article is based on the
research of Anet Dreyer-
Kruger’s PhD dissertation,
Die huwelik, intimiteit,
seksualiteit en die
Christusnarratief’ (http://hdl.handle.net/2263/43134). The
research was done under
the supervision of Prof.
Dr Andries G. van Aarde,
Department of New
Testament Studies, Faculty
of Theology, University of