Theology of Academy Award Best Picture Nominees: (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Frost/Nixon. Milk. The Reader. Slumdog Millionaire) Podcast: Live At Hales Segment 1 of 1

tkm-moviesA discussion of the theology of the five nominees for Academy Awards in the Best Picture category. Hosted by Dick Staub with guests Gregory Wright Managing Editor of HollywoodJesus.com and Past the Popcorn, Jennie Spohr film critic, ordained Presbyterian clergy and Dr. Jeff Keuss a professor at SPU and an engaging interpreter of theology in popular culture.

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2 Responses to “Theology of Academy Award Best Picture Nominees: (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Frost/Nixon. Milk. The Reader. Slumdog Millionaire) Podcast: Live At Hales Segment 1 of 1

  1. I enjoyed the Oscar's podcast, as always, especially the geust appearance by Film Reviewer Adrian Wyard. But I think you really missed an opportunity to investigate the theology of Slumdog. It is an incredibly religious and theological movie. It's the whole point of the movie. Just not necessarily Christian theology.

    The film begins with four queries, as you say. But the fourth one is not "It's destiny." It is "It is written." This is a very famous Muslim phrase, in Arabic, "maktoub". It is said throughout a Muslim's day, meaning that God has written everything beforehand. This is perhaps the first movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture that is steeping in Islamic theology. Though in answer to a question at the end, you explored this issue a little, there is a great opportunity here to pursue it further. What is the difference between the fatalism inherent in maktoub and our Christian doctrine of predestination? Is this truly fatalism in the movie, or is it something we would find more recognizable within Christianity? What is the world view where things are written, but God's name doesn't come up? (Which, to your credit, you do discuss.)

    Considering that the main characters in the movie are Muslim, and the final wonderful song of the credits, Jai Ho, means something like "Halleluiah", or "Praise", there's a wealth of discovery here to consider, in the comparison and contrast of the Muslim and Christian world view, in what we can embrace or reject from the perspective of maktub.

  2. Trying again, since it didn't seem to go through the first time:

    I enjoyed the Oscar's podcast, as always, especially the geust appearance by Film Reviewer Adrian Wyard. But I think you really missed an opportunity to investigate the theology of Slumdog. It is an incredibly religious and theological movie. It's the whole point of the movie. Just not necessarily Christian theology.

    The film begins with four queries, as you say. But the fourth one is not "It's destiny." It is "It is written." This is a very famous Muslim phrase, in Arabic, "maktoub". It is said throughout a Muslim's day, meaning that God has written everything beforehand. This is perhaps the first movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture that is steeping in Islamic theology. Though in answer to a question at the end, you explored this issue a little, there is a great opportunity here to pursue it further. What is the difference between the fatalism inherent in maktoub and our Christian doctrine of predestination? Is this truly fatalism in the movie, or is it something we would find more recognizable within Christianity? What is the world view where things are written, but God's name doesn't come up? (Which, to your credit, you do discuss.)

    Considering that the main characters in the movie are Muslim, and the final wonderful song of the credits, Jai Ho, means something like "Halleluiah", or "Praise", there's a wealth of discovery here to consider, in the comparison and contrast of the Muslim and Christian world view, in what we can embrace or reject from the perspective of maktub.

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