REL207 Religion, Myth and Identity in Popular Culture

All versions:
REL207 (2022—2023)
REL207 (2021—2022)
REL207 (2020—2021)

Course code: REL207

Course name: Religion, Myth and Identity in Popular Culture

Semester: Spring

Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2020–2021

Language: English

Credits: 10 ECTS Credits

Single subject: Yes

Application: Apply at our local applicationpage

Required prerequisite knowledge

Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

For studenter i studieprogram: For å ta dette emnet må man ha fullført årsstudiet i RLE, PTL, IKS eller PED, eller tilsvarende. Man kan også ta emnet parallelt med disse årsstudiene.

Relevance within study programme

Elective course bachelor in Theology.

Introduction

Due to the Covid-19 situation there might be some changes in education. Information will be given in Canvas.

This course is a study of religious and mythical motives in popular culture, with emphasis on movies. In what way do modern movies like The Matrix, Hunger Games and Harry Potter highlight and thematize the existential questions of modern Man? And which role does Greek myths and Christian symbols play in the narrative of these movies? The identity formation of young people is also an essential theme in this course, seen in relation to the increasing use of social media and games by the new generation.

Learning outcomes descriptors

Knowledge

The student

  • has fundamental knowledge about the religious and mytical universe in modern movies
  • has knowledge about new theories on the relation between media and identity formation
  • has knowledge about new theories on the nature and function of myths in religious and cultural contexts
  • has fundamental knowledge of the Bible as literature
  • has specialized knowledge of the Bible as one of the main inspirational sources for European culture - including cinematic movies
  • has fundamental knowledge of the concept of intertextuality and the use of intertextuality in modern movies
  • has basic knowledge of film analysis

Skills

The students

  • can collect specialized knowledge about religious/mythical narratives in modern movies and present this in relevant academic papers
  • can critically assess various existential questions on the basis of relevant movies
  • can handle necessary technological tools working with movies and social media
  • can contribute to a renewed reflection on the actuality of classical myths

General competence

The student

  • can present relevant and important theories on identity formation and modern media
  • has the ability to detect new trends in film and film industry

Content

In close connection with a selection of curriculum films, the topic discusses the following main themes:

  • Youth culture, Identity and Modern Media
  • The religious universe reflected in the fantasy genre
  • Myth and reason (mythos versus logos)
  • Myths and psychology
  • The Bible as Literature
  • The Bible as «the great code» in European cultural history
  • Intertextuality in movies
  • Christ figures in film
  • General movie analysis

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures with time for discussions. All the films from the curriculum will be displayed on campus.

Scope

300 hours.

Coursework requirements

Individual reflection paper related to a chosen film from the curriculum (1000 words).

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved / Not approved.

Final assessment

  • Individual semester paper (4500 words) on self-chosen theme. The subject must be approved by the person with course responsibility.
  • Oral examination.

The semester assignment must be considered as passed (A - E) in order for the students to be able to present themselves to the oral exam. The final grade of the course will be determined after the oral examination. In order for that exam to be passed, the oral test must also be considered as passed (A - E).

Permitted aids under examination

Semester paper: all Oral examination: none

Grading, examination

A - F

Assessment language

English or Norwegian

Practice

None.

Credit reductions

KME207 Medier, myter og identitet: 10 ECTS

Course evaluation

Annually course evaluation in accordance with the quality assurance system for NLA University College

Available for Course Students

Yes.

Reading list and academic resources

Movies:

The Matrix (I)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (I)

Hunger Games (I)

Game of Thrones (utvalgte episoder)

Tree of Life

The Passion of the Christ

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (I)

Grand Torino

The Name of the Rose

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Sherlock (Season 2: The Hounds of Balskerville)

The Fisher King

 Literature, English-speaking students:

Paul J. C. Adachi: «Do Video Games Promote Positive Youth Development?», i Journal of Adolescent Research, 2012: 28 (2), pp 155-165 (11 pages).

Graham Allen: Intertextuality (London/New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 1-7 og 203-216 (20 pages).

Lloyd Baugh: Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ-figures in Film (Kansas: Sheed & Ward, 1997), del 2 (mangler eksakte sideopplysninger) (Ca 140 pages)

William Beard: «Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood as Fallen Saviour», i CineAction, Winter, 2011, Issue 85, p.34-42 (9 pages)

Richard Buxton: «Introduction», i R. Buxton From Myth to Reason?: Studies in the Development of Greek Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp 1-24 (25 pages).

Joseph Campbell: «Prologue: The Monomyth», i The Hero with Thousand Faces (New York: Barnes and Nobles, 1949), pp 3-46 (43 pages).

Matthew T. Dickerson: «From Cosmogony to Fairy Tale», i From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy (Brazos press, 2006), pp 21-38 (18 pages).

Matthew T. Dickerson: «Biblical Myth and Story», i From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy (Brazos press, 2006), pp 65-92 (27 pages).

Matthew T. Dickerson: «Harry Potter - Saint or Serpent?», i From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy (Brazos press, 2006), pp 227-252 (25 pages).

Umberto Eco: «The Title and the Meaning», in Umberto Eco reflects on The Name of the Rose (London: Secker og Warburg, 1985), pp 1-7 (7 pages).

Paul Fontana: «Finding God in the Matrix», i i Glenn Yeffeth: Taking the red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Matrix (Chichester: Summersdale, 2003), pp 189-219 (30 pages).

James L. Ford: «Buddhism, Mythology and The Matrix», i Glenn Yeffeth: Taking the red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Matrix (Chichester: Summersdale, 2003), pp 150-173 (23 pages).

Northrop Frye: «Introduction», i The Great Code - The Bible and Literature (New York: Harvest book, 1982), pp xi-xxiii (17 pages).

Alan Jacobs: «The Chronicles of Narnia», in Robert MacSwain & Michael Ward, The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 265-280 (16 pages).

Christopher C. Kirby: «Ned Stark: One Man in Ten Thousand», i Silverman and Arp: The Ultimate Game of Thrones and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2017), pp 11-18 (9 pages).

Rollo May, R.: The cry for myth (New York: Norton, 1991), pp. 15-147 (123 pages).

Brian McDonald: «The Final Word on Entertainment - Mimetic and Monstrous Art in The Hunger Games», i The Hinger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Reason (New Jersey: Wiley, 2012), pp 8-25 (18 pages).

Rafe McGregor: «The Mystery of the Horrible Hound», in Josef Steiff: Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind (Open Court, 2011), pp 67-76 (9 pages).

Dan Mcveigh: «Is Harry Potter Christian?», i Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Spring, 2002, Vol.54(3), pp 197-214 (17 pages).

Michael Ostling: «Harry Potter and the Disenchantment of the World», i Journal of Contemporary Religion 18, p 3-24 (21 pages).

Gregory Allen Robbins: «’Aftertones of Infinity’: Biblical and Darwian Evocations in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and To the Wonder», in Journal of Religion and Film Vol 20 : Iss. 1, Article 17, pp. 1-21 (21 pages)

Tom Shippey: «The Lord of the Rings: Concepts of Evil», in J. R. R. Tolkien - Author of the Century (London: HarperCollins, 2001), pp. 112-160 (48 pages).

Tom Shippey: «The Lord of the Rings: The Mythic Dimension» », in J. R. R. Tolkien - Author of the Century (London: HarperCollins, 2001), pp. 161-225 (64 pages).

Margaret Skinner og Kailyn McCord: «The Hunger Games: A Conversation

Jungian and Literary Perspectives on Violence, Gender, and Character Development», i Jung Journal (Culture & Psyche), Vol 6, 2012, Issue 4, pp 106-113 (8 pages).

Sofokles: Oedipus the King, i Antigone, Oedipus the King and Electra (Oxford: Oxford University press, 2008), pp 47-100 (52 pages).

Charles Taylor: Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1992), pp 115-142 (27 pages)

T. Watkins: Focus. The art and Soul of Cinema (London: Damaris Books, 2007), pp viii-xi og 1-122 (122 pages).

T. R. Wright: Theology and Literature (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1998), pp. 1-40 (41 pages).

Ca 850 pages

Litteratur for norskspråklige studenter:

Paul J. C. Adachi: «Do Video Games Promote Positive Youth Development?», i Journal of Adolescent Research, 2012: 28 (2), 155-165 (11 sider).

Graham Allen: Intertextuality (London/New York: Routledge, 2011), s. 1-7 og 203-216 (20 sider).

William Beard: «Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood as Fallen Saviour», i CineAction, Winter, 2011, Issue 85, s.34-42 (9 sider)

Walter Truett Anderson: Det nye selvet: Identitet i det 21. århundre (Oslo: Aschehoug, 1997), s. 17-39 (22 sider).

Paul Otto Brunstad: «Skrekkfilmens religiøse univers» i Sveinall og Engedal: Troen er løs: bidrag til belysning av forholdet mellom folkereligiøsitet, nyreligiøsitet og kristen tro (Oslo: Egede institutt, 2000), s. 55-67 (13 sider).

Richard Buxton: «Introduction», i R. Buxton From Myth to Reason?: Studies in the Development of Greek Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), s. 1-24 (25 sider).

Matthew T. Dickerson: «From Cosmogony to Fairy Tale», i From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy (Brazos press, 2006), s. 21-38 (18 sider).

Umberto Eco: «Den nye middelalderen», i Den nye middelalderen og andre essays (Oslo: Tiden norsk forlag, 2000), s. 30-46 (17 sider).

Umberto Eco: «The Title and the Meaning», in Umberto Eco reflects on The Name of the Rose (London: Secker og Warburg, 1985), s. 1-7 (7 sider).

Trond Berg Eriksen: «Fra diktning til naturfilosofi», i: Undringens labyrinter (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1994), s. 25-32 (8 sider).

Trond Berg Eriksen: «Det hellige og mytens tid», i Tidens historie (Oslo: Stenersens forlag, 1999), s. 28-44 (37 sider).

Trond Berg Eriksen: «Postmoderne identitetsproblemer», i Walter Truett Anderson: Det nye selvet: Identitet i det 21. århundre (Oslo: Aschehoug, 1997), s. 345-358 (14 sider).

Trond Berg Eriksen: «Riter uten myte: Det postmodernes historie», i Nietzsche og det moderne (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2000), s. 308-343 (35 sider).

Northrop Frye: «Introduction», i The Great Code - The Bible and Literature (New York: Harvest book, 1982), s. xi-xxiii (17 sider).

Paul Fontana: «Finding God in the Matrix», i i Glenn Yeffeth: Taking the red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Matrix (Chichester: Summersdale, 2003), s. 189-219 (30 sider).

James L. Ford: «Buddhism, Mythology and The Matrix», i Glenn Yeffeth: Taking the red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Matrix (Chichester: Summersdale, 2003), s. 150-173 (23 sider).

Anne Hoff: «Mitt liv som film», i: Hoff, A.: Mitt liv som film (Oslo: Tiden, 2002), s. 9-17 (9 sider).

Alan Jacobs: «The Chronicles of Narnia», in Robert MacSwain & Michael Ward, The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), s. 265-280 (16 sider).

Christopher C. Kirby: «Ned Stark: One Man in Ten Thousand», i Silverman and Arp: The Ultimate Game of Thrones and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2017), s. 11-18 (9 sider).

Ståle Johannes Kristiansen: «Evighetens nostalgi. Paradisvisjonen i Tolkiens verker», i Hovdelien og Kristiansen: Fra Dante til Umberto Eco. Atten tekster om teologi og litteratur. Red: Ståle Johannes Kristiansen og Olav Hovdelien (Oslo: Unipub forlag, 2007), s. 165-188 (24 sider).

Ståle Johannes Kristiansen: «Diktningens logos: Om samspillet mellom teologisk og poetisk erkjennelse», i i Hovdelien og Kristiansen: Fra Dante til Umberto Eco. Atten tekster om teologi og litteratur. Red: Ståle Johannes Kristiansen og Olav Hovdelien (Oslo: Unipub forlag, 2007), s. 43-64 (21 sider).

Leer-Salvesen, K. (2005). Fra glansbilde til antihelt. Jesus på film. Oslo: Verbum, s. 86-122 (37 sider).

Rollo May: The cry for myth (New York: Norton, 1991), s. 15-147 (123 sider). (Norsk oversettelse tilgjengelig på https://www.nb.no/items/de833350581ea3c862cc5a9a44f0dabc?page= 0&searchText=myter%20og%20identitet Pensum: Kap 1-8)

Rafe McGregor: «The Mystery of the Horrible Hound», in Josef Steiff: Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind (Open Court, 2011), s. 67-76 (9 sider).

Michael Ostling: «Harry Potter and the Disenchantment of the World», i Journal of Contemporary Religion 18, s. 3-24 (21 sider).

Anders Piltz: «Den annen verden - Fakta, myte og mening», i Det gråtende dyret: menneskets mangetydighet i europeisk tradisjon (Oslo: St. Olav, 1998), s. 103-128 (25 sider)

Gregory Allen Robbins: «’Aftertones of Infinity’: Biblical and Darwian Evocations in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and To the Wonder», in Journal of Religion and Film Vol 20 : Iss. 1, Article 17, s. 1-21 (21 sider)

Evan Rosa: «Jon Snow: A Mishapen Christ Figure», i Silverman and Arp: The Ultimate Game of Thrones and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2017), s. 53-59 (7 sider).

Jan Schumacher: «Kraftfulle ord: Northrop Fryes kerygma», i Teologi og litteratur i dialog (Oslo: Den norske presteforening, 1997), s. 51-70 (20 sider).

Margaret Skinner og Kailyn McCord: «The Hunger Games: A Conversation Jungian and Literary Perspectives on Violence, Gender, and Character Development», i Jung Journal (Culture & Psyche), Vol 6, 2012, Issue 4, s. 106-113 (8 sider).

Sofokles (1994). Kong Oidipus. Oslo: Gyldendal. (79 s.; oversatt til norsk av P. Østbye). Hentet fra http://www.nb.no/nbsok/nb/0d9e5b6f06c5697d2b789312b84579ab?index=2#0

J.R.R. Tolkien: «Ainulindalë: Ainuenes kvad», i: Silmarillion (Oslo: Tiden, 1994), s. 15-22 (9 sider).

Tony Watkins: Focus. The art and Soul of Cinema (London: Damaris Books, 2007), s. viii-xi og 1-122(122 s.).

Ca 900 sider