Statement of Purpose
Journal of Religion and Film examines
Many films, directly or indirectly, serve a "religious" purpose. Like religions, they present meanings that people give to life. They portray people and the values people embrace in life. The films themselves, then, are a part of the fundamental religious "struggle with the ultimate problems of human life."
Articles in the JR & F, then, are not restricted to a denominational list that equates religion with a commonly accepted set of rituals, beliefs, and laws. "Religion," in contemporary times and in the issues of the Journal, is much more personal and interactive than that. It is the living of values constructed in a dialogue between an individual and a culture. A particular worldview is received, adjusted, reapplied, and lived by the individual.
So the JR & F will consider not only films that explicitly highlight traditional religious images and themes. Although there will be analysis of films that consider such religious themes as sacred space, sacred times, savior-figures, images of god(s), and battles between good and evil, there also will be investigation of notions and assumptions that underlie everyday, "secular," human talk and action.
Films invite questions. As life-in-celluloid, they can mesmerize, seduce, inform, and communicate. They can either invite or discourage reflection. We will often attempt to explore beneath the web of visual and aural signifiers, deeper and see more clearly some significant pauses, turns, and directions in these representations of life's journeys.
So the editors of the JR & F invite articles and discussion on a variety of film types: commercial and academic, foreign and documentary, classic and contemporary.
When possible, we will work with authors to include clips from pertinent films in this electronic journal. Not all viewers will have the time or equipment to access the clip, but it will be there for those who choose to take another look.
In addition to articles, the Journal encourages discussion. We want the quick response-time possible in the electronic age to provide something close to real-time discussion. This will allow readers to "Ask Questions of the Author," propose "Selected Themes" for wider discussion, or make simply a brief remark of "Unrestricted Commentary."
For more information on submitting articles and reviews to the JR & F for publication, see Guidelines and Procedures for Article Manuscripts and/or Guidelines and Procedures for Film Reviews. For more information on the three kinds of discussion, see the Discussion Protocol.
JR & F