• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Holy Ghost Films

    No, not a post on spiritual or faith-based horror films, just a bad pun about the portrayal of the Holy Spirit in film. It's quite a difficult distinction to make. Is the Holy Spirit pure spirit? What about passages where s/he appears as...? If the spirit of God is a pure spirit any depiction in film would have to be either metaphorical, or indirect (seeing the results of his/her presence, rather than their actual presence).

    It's also difficult to decide where to place the boundaries. Acts films with their Pentecost scenes are an obvious starting place, as are scenes about Jesus' baptism, but what about passages from the Hebrew Bible such as creation, or Saul's ecstatic prophesying? What about the apostles' miracles in Acts? And then what about today? Charismatics, Pentecostals and a good deal of other Christians believe in a Holy Spirit that is active today and that works miracles today. SPOILERSDo we see the Holy Spirit in Ordet, or Lourdes, Ushpizin or The Song of Bernadette? END of SPOILERS What about films such as those listed in the book "The Hidden God" or in the Arts and Faith Top 100 Films, which used to be called the top 100 "Spiritually Significant" films? And then what about all those films which touch on the Fruit of the Spirit?

    The main reason I'm writing this blog post is that blogging helps me think and work through my thoughts, process them, order them and sometimes, shockingly, even come to a decision. And I have a piece that I need to write on this, 700 words to cover "The Holy Spirit" in film. It's tough for me because I'm not sure what I think about how the Spirit works today. Fruit? Yes. Gifts? Sort of. Miracles? I'd like to believe in the possibility, but have too many questions to resolve in 700 words. But focussing solely on the biblical narratives would give the impression of cessationalism, which contradicts with my feeling that the only a God present and active in the world is worth following.

    Big questions. And I'm already overdue. Perhaps I'll focus on the biblical stories and end with a very brief mention, of more contemporary films which touch on fruit gifts and miracles.



    • At 6:19 am, February 26, 2013, Anonymous Molly said…

      Actually we can't explain miracles in any words cause it's all about matter of faith. You can show but can't make it happen to be feeling in anyone's heart. I believe one thing that if we talk or wanna show anything about religious respective then we have to care for its each and every honorable words.


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