Category Archives: reason/rationality

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

Calvary – Justice and Compassion

A good priest is threatened to be killed by someone who has suffered abuse from priests when he was a child. Father James (Brendan Gleeson) sees through the shit of people with irony and the occasional confrontation; yet he is … Continue reading

Posted in Calvary, Catholic Church, Christianity, compassion, emotions, Enlightenment, faith, good & evil, institutions, justice, love, morality, personhood, power, reason/rationality, religion, sexuality, society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside Out – No emotions, only feelings

Inside Out seeks to hide its lack of originality behind clever ingenuity. It tells the story of a young girl through her ‘emotions’, except these are nothing more than instinctual reactions. Instead of depicting the different sides of one person, … Continue reading

Posted in America, consciousness, emotions, family, good & evil, individualism, Inside Out, love, morality, personhood, reason/rationality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

American Horror Story (Coven) 2 – Othering Voodoo, Race, & Rationality

As mentioned in my previous post on Coven, the series is set in a boarding school for witches in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the witches is Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), who is human voodoo doll. She can harm others by … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', America, body, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, horror, magic, nature, postcolonialism, race/diversity, reason/rationality, ritual, The Coven (American Horror Story) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Horror Story (Coven) – Witchcraft & the Dark Goddess

The Coven is the third installment of American Horror Story, the first being porn and film plagiarism, the second concentrating on the plagiarism. The third benefits from an injection of irony. It is set in a boarding school for witches … Continue reading

Posted in America, consciousness, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, horror, knowledge/epistemology, magic, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, ritual, The Coven (American Horror Story) | 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

Candyman – Class, Race & Durkheimian Religion

Candyman is jolly good fun and great food for sociological thought. As ever, this is not a review, but a short analysis of the film from a sociological angle. Set in Chicago, the film tells the story of Helen (Virginia … Continue reading

Posted in Candyman (1992), class, films, good & evil, horror, knowledge/epistemology, postcolonialism, race/diversity, reality, reason/rationality, religion | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment