Hollywood or History?

An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach World Religions

Edited by:
Thomas E. Malewitz, Spalding University
Adam P. Zoeller, St. Xavier High School

A volume in the series: Hollywood or History. Editor(s): Scott L. Roberts, Central Michigan University. Charles J. Elfer, Clayton State University.

Published 2023

Teaching and learning through Hollywood, or commercial, film and television productions is anything but a new approach and has been something of a mainstay in the classroom for nearly a century. However, purposeful and effective instruction through film is not problem free and many challenges accompany classroom applications of Hollywood motion pictures. In response to the problems and possibilities associated with teaching through film, we are developing a collection of practical, classroom-ready lesson ideas that might bridge gaps between theory and practice and assist teachers endeavoring to make effective use of film in their classrooms. We believe that film can serve as a powerful tool in the social studies classroom and, where appropriately utilized, foster critical thinking and civic mindedness. The NCSS College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) framework, represents a renewed and formalized emphasis on the perennial social studies goals of deep thinking, reading and writing. Our hope is that this edited book might play a small role in the larger project of supporting practitioners, specifically 6-12 teachers of social studies and world religion content, by offering a collection of classroom-ready tools based on the Hollywood or History? strategy and designed to foster inquiry through the careful use of selected motion pictures and television productions.

Topics of interest include the roots, rituals, symbols, beliefs, and controversial or significant people or events related to:

• The Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam

• Eastern Religions/Philosophies: Hinduism, Buddhism

• Indigenous Religions/Spirituality: First Nations, Traditional African Religions

Preface. Introduction to Hollywood or History? World Religions Edition. SECTION I: FAITH IN ACTION. Unity and Community: “Big Hero 6” and Paul of Tarsus’s Vision of the Body of Christ, Thomas E. Malewitz. The Death and Resurrection of the Dark Knight, Adam P. Zoeller. The Hero’s Journey of Frodo Baggins, Adam P. Zoeller. The Nature of the 10 Plagues Against Egypt and the Egyptian Gods, Thomas E. Malewitz. SECTION II: HISTORICAL CONTEXTS. Catholic Social Teachings and Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Catholic Faith, Daniel E. Martin. Henri Dauman and Telling the Untold Stories, Stephanie Garrone-Shufran and Rory Tannebaum. Understanding the Effects of Residential Schools and Initial Steps of Reconciliation, Thomas E. Malewitz. In the Face of Martyrdom: Testing the Bedrock of Faith, Thomas E. Malewitz. SECTION III: RELIGIOUS FIGURES. Guidance on Non-Violence: “Gandhi”, Living for Change Through Faith, Thomas E. Malewitz. The Legacy of Authentic Discipleship, Adam P. Zoeller. Through the Eyes of Dr. King and Malcolm X: The Intersection of Civil Rights and Religion, Colleen Fitzpatrick and Ariel Cornett. “Of Gods and Men”: On Hospitality and Interreligious Dialogue, Thomas E. Malewitz. SECTION IV: RITUALS. The Relationship Between Music and Traditional African Religion, Miguel David Hernandez Paz. Exorcism, Healings, and Mercy: The Role of the Holy Fool and Prophet in “The Island”, Thomas E. Malewitz. Exploring the Egyptian Book of the Dead: Weighing of the Heart Ceremony, Thomas E. Malewitz. The Camino de Santiago: Pilgrimage as a Devotion of Cultural Awareness and Personal Renewal, Thomas E. Malewitz. SECTION V: WISDOM LITERATURE. The Truth of Salvation Is Reconciliation, Adam P. Zoeller. Escaping the Cycle of Groundhog Day, Adam P. Zoeller. Wisdom Literature and the Power of the Poetic Word, Thomas Malewitz. About the Contributors.