Religion at the Academy Awards

Huff Post: S. Brent Plate.

He is drawn to ritual and tradition, and gleefully syncretizes elements of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian practices. What sticks in his throat most is the absence of ritual, the hindrances to the ceremonies of drawing things to a close and allowing a little cosmos in the face of chaos. When left without the institutions and communities that help foster such activities, meaning is lost.

The desire for some kind of redemption pulses through human life, while belief in the vehicles of that redemption — grace, karma, or hard work — is heavily exploited in Hollywood. The really bad guys deserve their place in the pit, but most wretches can still be saved. Commenting on his novel, “Les Miserables,” Victor Hugo noted how the plot moves from “evil to good . . . from nothingness to God.” But apparently the simplicity of that narrative arc is not enough to get contemporary audiences through the journey, so via Broadway, Hollywood adds music. Some show tunes and a few pretty faces help make the widows, orphans, and thieves bearable, paving our redemptive route.

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Categories: Americas, Films, Religions

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