Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings — the scholars speak!

Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings — the scholars speak! June 13, 2016


My friend Matt Page has alerted me to the fact that two collections of essays, on Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings, are scheduled to come out in the next year or so.

Noah as Antihero: Darren Aronofsky’s Cinematic Deluge will come out sometime in 2017. It will be published by Routledge, and it is being edited by Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch (with whom I have worked on a few projects) and Jon Morgan.

Here is the official description of that book:

This collection of essays by biblical scholars is the first book-length treatment of the 2014 film Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky. The film has proved to be of great interest to scholars working on the interface between the Bible and popular culture, not only because it was heralded as the first of a new generation of biblical blockbusters, but also because of its bold, provocative, and yet unusually nuanced approach to the interpretation and use of the Noah tradition, in both its biblical and extra-biblical forms. The book’s chapters, written by both well-established and up-and-coming scholars, engage with and analyze a broad range of issues raised by the film, including: its employment and interpretation of the ancient Noah traditions; its engagement with contemporary environmental themes and representation of non-human animals; its place within the history of cinematic depictions of the flood, status as an ‘epic’, and associated relationship to spectacle; the theological implications of its representation of a hidden and silent Creator and responses to perceived revelation; the controversies surrounding its reception among religious audiences, especially in the Muslim world; and the nature and implications of its convoluted racial and gender politics. Noah as Antihero will be of considerable interest to scholars conducting research in the areas of religion and film, contemporary hermeneutics, reception history, religion and popular culture, feminist criticism, and ecological ethics.

And here are the contents:

  • Introduction — Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch and Jon Morgan
  • 1. Seeing is Believing: Spectacle and Revelation in Aronofsky’s Noah — David J. Shepherd
  • 2. Noah as a Biblical Blockbuster — Laura Copier
  • 3. Noah as an Aronofsky Epic — Richard Walsh
  • 4. Hearing God: Noah, Aronofsky’s Noah, and Viewer Response to Noah — Robert Johnston
  • 5. Muslim Reception of Aronofsky’s Noah — David Tollerton
  • 6. Rock Giants, A Magic Stone, and the Creator’s Light: Extra-Biblical Literature in the Noah Movie — Ingrid Lily
  • 7. An Ongoing Tradition: Aronofsky’s Noah as 21st-Century Rewritten Scripture — Matthew A. Collins
  • 8. The Presence and Hiddenness of God in Noah — Reinhold Zwick
  • 9. How Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel Handle Ham — Justin Reed
  • 10. Real Women and Men Who Can Kill: Gender Politics in Aronofsky’s Noah — Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch
  • 11. Saving the Innocent: The Role of Animals in the Ecology of Noah — Jon Morgan
  • 12. It’s not the end of the world: Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and IMAX Apocalyptic Ecology — Sam Tongue

Incidentally, I rounded up some Muslim responses to Noah in this blog post.

Meanwhile, Biblical Reception 4: Essays on Exodus: Gods and Kings will come out in December. It is being published by Bloomsbury and edited by David Tollerton.

Here are the contents:

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. ‘Hmmm … But Loved the Plagues’: On Engaging with Ridley Scott’s Epic and its Audiences — David Tollerton, University of Exeter, UK
  • 2. Depicting the Divine: The Ambiguity of Exodus 3 in Exodus: Gods and Kings — Matthew A. Collins, University of Chester, UK
  • 3. Exodus: Male Gods and Kings – J. Cheryl Exum, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 4. Interpreting the Entrails: Religion and Violence in Exodus: Gods and Kings — Jon Morgan, University of Chester, UK
  • 5. ‘See this Great Sight’: Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings and the Evolution of Biblical Spectacle in the Cinema — David Shepherd, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • 6. Once Upon an Apocalypse: Exodus, Disaster, and a Long, Long Time Ago? — Michelle Fletcher, University of Kent, UK
  • 7. Picturing the Plagues and Parting the Waves: The Biblical Effect in Exodus: Gods and Kings — Samuel Tongue, University of Glasgow, UK
  • 8. The Birth of a Nation: Civil Religion and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings — Catherine Wheatley, King’s College London, UK
  • 9. Exodus: Gods and Kings and the Secular-Religious Transgression of Sacred Boundaries — David Tollerton, University of Exeter, UK

If any other books like these are in the works, then by all means, please let me know!

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