Category Archives: belief

The Big Short – Faith in the Free Market

The 2008 financial crisis was the result of recklessness, dodgy dealings, and hubris. Like drug addicts, people bought mortgages they would have never been able to pay. Like drug pushers, mortgage brokers fed the beast until it all went belly … Continue reading

Posted in America, American dream, belief, faith, finance/economics, magic, reality, reason/rationality, The Big Short | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: the ambiguity of religion

There is something compelling about the Star Wars saga (I’m only referring to the original films 1977-1983). It manages to be original whilst being heavily plagiarised (from 1940s war movies and 1950s B-movies to pirates and Robin Hood movies, mixed … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Empire Strikes Back, faith, fantasy/supernatural, gender, good & evil, humility, masculinity, monasticism, morality, myth, religion, sexuality, Star Wars, The Return of the Jedi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indiana Jones & Empire Strikes Back – Belief

Religion, as argued in my post on the West Wing, is often assumed to be a person’s belief in a supernatural God. Yet anthropologists and sociologists of religion would wince at this statement. From a social scientific perspective, belief is … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Empire Strikes Back, Enlightenment, faith, fantasy/supernatural, Georg Simmel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, knowledge/epistemology, magic, Malcolm Ruel, myth, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, scifi | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

West Wing’s Religion – Modern Rationalism and Fundamentalism

In movies, religion is often assumed to be a person’s belief in a supernatural God and that the Bible is the word of God to be taken literally. Religion thus gets neatly divided into ‘good’ (progressive/liberal) and ‘bad’ (conservative) President … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Christianity, Enlightenment, evangelical, faith, knowledge/epistemology, magic, politics, Protestantism, reason/rationality, religion, science, West Wing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sleepy Hollow – Science, Magic, and Modernity

Faithful to gothic tradition, Sleepy Hollow has fear at its centre. Fear is here understood as what cannot be controlled by scientific reason, but it also associated with the horror of the sublime, as argued by Edmund Burke. Tim Burton’s film … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', belief, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, gender, Godfrey Lienhardt, horror, knowledge/epistemology, magic, masculinity, Max Weber, myth, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, science, Sleepy Hollow (1999), Stanley Tambiah, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment