Mystic River: A Parable of Christianity's Dark Side

by Charlene P. E. Burns


1. Edward Farley Faith and Beauty: A Theological Aesthetic (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2001) 102.

2. The first quote is from Peter Bradshaw, Guardian Unlimited October 17, 2003. The second is from Peter Travers, Rolling Stone September 25, 2003.

3. Jonathan Rosenbaum, "Vengeance is Theirs," Chicago Reader. Thanks to my colleague, Sean McAleer, for bringing this review to my attention, and for our friendly debate on the meaning of the film that served to coalesce my thoughts.

4. John R. May, "Visual Story and the Religious Interpretation of Film," in Religion and Film, 23-43. eds. John R. May and Michael Bird (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982).

5. May, "Visual Story," 32.

6. John Dominic Crossan, The Dark Interval: Towards a Theology of Story (Niles, IL: Argus Communications, 1975) 53. qtd in May, 32.

7. May, "Visual Story," 33, 35.

8. Ibid., 31.

9. Jimmy's wife wears a cross necklace during the communion and morgue scenes, his youngest daughter wears one as well. There is also a cross over Dave and Celeste's bed. But none of these seem intended to draw the viewers' attention in the way that Jimmy's tattoo and the molester's jewelry are.

10. Dorothee Sölle, Thinking About God (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990) 124.

11. Ibid. 125. Latin American Liberation theology has shown us in stark relief the complicity of the Christian church in political oppression and totalitarianism.

12. Much has been written on this aspect of Christian history. cf Carol J. Adams & Marie M. Fortune, eds, Violence Against Women and Children: A Christian Theological Sourcebook (New York: Continuum, 1995)

13. Edward Farley, Good and Evil: Interpreting a Human Condition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990).

14. Ibid., 257-260.

15. Ibid., 263.

16. Ibid., 273.

JR & F
Home Page
JR & F
Vol.8 No.1

Copyrighted by Journal of Religion and Film 2003
Site Maintained by
Department of Philosophy and Religion
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Contact Webmaster about site