It’s been some time since I penned a FAR post. Much has changed and much has stayed the same. I have since moved to a different part of the United States and have started a new teaching position at a large university. Yet, I am still a scholar who seeks out the connection between feminism, gender representation, religion, and popular culture. Which brings me to this new post.Continue reading “Diversifying Marvel and the Monolith of Superheroes by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
Let’s talk about Mary Magdalene and her new film by Anjeanette LeBoeuf
In keeping in line with my last month’s post, movies are on the docket, 2018’s Mary Magdalene. It’s fairly recent with not a lot of discussion around it. Here we go. The film written by two women, Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett, focuses on Mary of Magdala who encounters Jesus. The film stars American Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus.
Continue reading “Let’s talk about Mary Magdalene and her new film by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
Reviewing Current Holocaust Popular Culture Materials By: Anjeanette LeBoeuf
I contemplated doing a post on the current rising issues of the Coronavirus but as so much of life has been stopped, altered, and/or rearranged, that I figured I would embody the proverbial statement of “Just Keep Calm and Carry On.” So, this month’s post is a mixture of observation/product review on recent Holocaust narratives, especially found in movies, TV shows, and books.
Continue reading “Reviewing Current Holocaust Popular Culture Materials By: Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
Staying Un-Frozen by Sara Frykenberg
It is February 14th, Valentines Day. So, today I want to explore my daughter’s love affair with Frozen; a story that I did not like, but that I learned to love by watching it through her eyes. A story which through her eyes, has taught me a lot about how to stay and be un-frozen.
I did not understand the phenomenon that was Disney’s Frozen in 2013. I did not like film’s premier song Let it Go, which you could hear e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. The film wasn’t even about Elsa; the queen with magical powers who sings this song while reveling in the new-found freedom of her isolation. It’s about Elsa’s sister, Anna, and her quest to find Elsa. So really, I thought, the song was misleading. I also didn’t like the ‘loveable Olaf;’ and while switching up the “true love’s kiss” narrative was a positive change for Disney (Anna saves herself and Elsa with her love, instead of that of a man), I just didn’t get the widespread appeal. Continue reading “Staying Un-Frozen by Sara Frykenberg”
What If a Woman Played That Role? “The Martian” and Gendered Space Heroes by Sara Frykenberg
Sci-fi fan that I am, I recently went to go see the film The Martian, after hearing overall good reviews from friends and family alike. A ‘stranded in space’ film, The Martian considers the plight of fictional astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon). He is mistakenly left behind by his captain and crew who all believe he has been killed during a Martian surface storm in which they must flee the planet or risk their shuttle’s, most likely, immanent destruction.
This all said, if you want to watch this film without spoilers, stop reading now. I’ll give you a minute…
Okay, you have been warned!
Continue reading “What If a Woman Played That Role? “The Martian” and Gendered Space Heroes by Sara Frykenberg”
Watching “Noah” Brought Me Closer to Humanity by Andreea Nica
As a child, I enjoyed the story of Noah’s Ark. I would often imagine pairs of animals running for safety in Noah’s architecturally majestic haven. Practical questions didn’t enter my mind during this blissful period of naivety. I ignored the part where God expressed regret in creating humanity, or when Noah gets drunk and lies bare naked for his children to cover his shame. My bible study teacher would explain to us that the point of the story was that Noah, a holy man, trusted God and carried out his will.
Disclaimer: I understand that the film is not meant to be an exact representation of the story in the bible, but loosely based around it. Also, if you plan on watching the film, read at your discretion.
In the film, Noah’s character is played by leading actor Russell Crowe, who appears strong, confident, and zealous in his trust in God – all necessary qualities to fulfill God’s demand of killing off the rest of humanity because of their wickedness. Later in the film, Noah realizes that he and his family are also wicked leading to his revelation, ahem, God’s revelation, that humanity must cease with Noah’s family. This doesn’t pan out too well with his children and wife. It was also bad news for Emma Watson, the orphan girl Noah’s family saves and raises as their own, who after accepting that she is barren is miraculously healed and gives birth to two girls. Noah decides that the female infants must die according to God’s will to end humanity. Continue reading “Watching “Noah” Brought Me Closer to Humanity by Andreea Nica”
Buffy Vs. Bella by Anjeanette LeBoeuf
In the past four years I have become overwhelmed by society’s thirst for vampires. The introduction of True Blood, Twilight, and The Vampire Diaries has marked a downright fervor for anything and everything “vampire.” Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good vampire story now and again. One of the first books I remember reading solely on my own was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I grew up watching the WB show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a coup d’état that I got to watch a show that had very visible scenes of violence, evil, and death, but I’m pretty sure that my parents thought that if watching this show was my only act of rebellion, they were in good shape. What I remember most about watching Buffy wasn’t really that it was a show about vampires, but that it was a show about a strong high school girl that had to save the world — which is exactly what I wanted to do.
I have always gravitated towards the mythical and supernatural, which is one of the reasons I study religion in the first place. Society uses vampire stories as a way to transmit social critiques. Vampire stories began to expand on the common idea that women were easily seduced by the “dark side” and that a strong male would need to swing in to save the day. Continue reading “Buffy Vs. Bella by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
The Harlot Shall Be Burned with Fire: Biblical Literalism in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Sarah Sentilles
Against my better judgment, this past weekend I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher who’s best known for Fight Club and The Social Network. I didn’t like the book; it unsettled me that a novel filled with sexual violence against women—a novel that seems to take pleasure in the violence, to offer it up for readers to consume—became such a sensation. But I’m a sucker for a trailer and a good soundtrack, and I was curious, so I bought a ticket.
The plot revolves around a missing girl and the serial killer believed to have murdered her who uses the Bible like a handbook. He takes passages from Leviticus—21:9 for example: The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire—and enacts them on women’s bodies. On Jewish women’s bodies.
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Sarah Sentilles is a scholar of religion, an award-winning speaker, and the author of three books including A Church of Her Own: What Happens When a Woman Takes the Pulpit (Harcourt, 2008) and Breaking Up with God (HarperOne, 2011). She earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a master’s of divinity and a doctorate in theology from Harvard, where she was awarded the Billings Preaching Prize and was the managing editor of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. At the core of her scholarship, writing, and activism is a commitment to investigating the roles religious language, images, and practices play in oppression, violence, social transformation, and justice movements. She is currently at work on a novel and an edited volume that investigates the intersections of torture and Christianity.