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Documentary as Exorcism: Resisting the Bewitchment of Colonial Christianity

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Documentary as Exorcism: Resisting the Bewitchment of Colonial Christianity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Documentary as Exorcism is an interdisciplinary study that builds upon the insights of postcolonial studies, critical race theory, theological and religious studies and media and film studies to showcase the role of documentary film as a system of signifying capable of registering complex theological ideas while pursuing the authentic aims of documentary filmmaking.

Robert Beckford marries the concepts of ‘theology as visual practice and ‘theology as political engagement to develop a new mode of documentary filmmaking that embeds emancipation from oppression in its aesthetic. In various documentaries made for Channel 4 and the BBC, Beckford narrates the complicit relationship of Christianity with European expansion, slavery, and colonialism as a historic manifestation of evil. In light of the cannibalistic practices of colonialism that devoured black life, and the churchs role in the subjugation and theological legitimation of black bodies, Beckford characterises this form of historic Christian faith as ‘colonial Christianity and its malevolent or ‘occult practices as a form of ‘bewitchment that must be ‘exorcised.

He identifies and exorcises the evil practices of colonialism and their present impact upon African Caribbean Christian communities in Britain in films such as Britains Slave Trade and Empire Pays Back through a deliberate process of encoding/decoding. The emancipatory impact of this form of documentary filmmaking is demonstrated by its ability to bring issues such as reparations to the public square for debate, and its capacity to change a corporations trade policies for the good of Africans.

Synopsis:

The documentary maker reflects on his art, and how he navigates between theology and visual culture as an academic, activist and practitioner.

Synopsis:

Robert Beckford is at the forefront of challenging documentary film making. For the first time he reflects on his art, and how he navigates between theology and visual culture as an academic, activist and practitioner.
 
Starting from a clarification of his cultural viewpoint, as someone living in-between various camps, he moves on to review recent developments in documentary theory, in particular the need to engage and challenge audiences rather than simply transmit actuality.
 
Beckford frames colonial theology in the Caribbean as a form of witchcraft practice that bewitched Africans and later black colonial subjects, and discusses the continued impact of this bewitchment, namely in politics and anti-intellectualism in contemporary Black Pentecostal Church life, especially in the UK.
 
He explores the concept of Biblical exorcism, particularly as anticolonialism and transcodes this practice into visual culture (film, art, etc.) analysing his own high-profile documentaries, Black Messiah, God is Black, Empire Pays Back and The Great African Scandal.in terms of the expulsion of the occult.

Synopsis:

Robert Beckford is at the forefront of challenging documentary film making. For the first time he reflects on his art, and how he navigates between theology and visual culture as an academic, activist and practitioner.

Starting from a clarification of his cultural viewpoint, as someone living in-between various camps, he moves on to review recent developments in documentary theory, in particular the need to engage and challenge audiences rather than simply transmit actuality.

Beckford frames colonial theology in the Caribbean as a form of witchcraft practice that bewitched Africans and later black colonial subjects, and discusses the continued impact of this bewitchment, namely in politics and anti-intellectualism in contemporary Black Pentecostal Church life, especially in the UK.

He explores the concept of Biblical exorcism, particularly as anticolonialism and transcodes this practice into visual culture analysing his own high-profile documentaries, Black Messiah, God is Black, Empire Pays Back and The Great African Scandal.

About the Author

Robert Beckford is Reader in Theology and Society at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK and is the author of a number of books in the field of religion, popular culture and politics, including God of the Rahtid (2003) and Jesus Dub (2006). He has presented numerous documentaries in the UK for the BBC and Channel 4 and gained a BAFTA in 2001 for diversity in educational broadcasting.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. In the House and in the Field
3. Documentary as Political Praxis
4. Theology as Witchcraft
5. Film as Exorcism
6. Theological Exorcism: Black Messiah (BBC4, 2001) and God is Black (Channel 4, 2004)
7. Political Exorcism: Empire Pays Back (Channel 4, 2005) and Undersize Me (Channel 4, 2007)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781847063915
Author:
Beckford, Robert
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Subject:
General
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Subject:
General Religion
Subject:
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
264
Dimensions:
8.52 x 5.36 x 1.111 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » Politics » Colonialism and Post-Colonialism
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues
Transportation » Nautical » Boats » Boating
Transportation » Nautical » Sailing
Transportation » Railroads » General
Travel » General

Documentary as Exorcism: Resisting the Bewitchment of Colonial Christianity New Hardcover
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Product details 264 pages Bloomsbury Academic - English 9781847063915 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The documentary maker reflects on his art, and how he navigates between theology and visual culture as an academic, activist and practitioner.
"Synopsis" by ,
Robert Beckford is at the forefront of challenging documentary film making. For the first time he reflects on his art, and how he navigates between theology and visual culture as an academic, activist and practitioner.
 
Starting from a clarification of his cultural viewpoint, as someone living in-between various camps, he moves on to review recent developments in documentary theory, in particular the need to engage and challenge audiences rather than simply transmit actuality.
 
Beckford frames colonial theology in the Caribbean as a form of witchcraft practice that bewitched Africans and later black colonial subjects, and discusses the continued impact of this bewitchment, namely in politics and anti-intellectualism in contemporary Black Pentecostal Church life, especially in the UK.
 
He explores the concept of Biblical exorcism, particularly as anticolonialism and transcodes this practice into visual culture (film, art, etc.) analysing his own high-profile documentaries, Black Messiah, God is Black, Empire Pays Back and The Great African Scandal.in terms of the expulsion of the occult.
"Synopsis" by ,
Robert Beckford is at the forefront of challenging documentary film making. For the first time he reflects on his art, and how he navigates between theology and visual culture as an academic, activist and practitioner.

Starting from a clarification of his cultural viewpoint, as someone living in-between various camps, he moves on to review recent developments in documentary theory, in particular the need to engage and challenge audiences rather than simply transmit actuality.

Beckford frames colonial theology in the Caribbean as a form of witchcraft practice that bewitched Africans and later black colonial subjects, and discusses the continued impact of this bewitchment, namely in politics and anti-intellectualism in contemporary Black Pentecostal Church life, especially in the UK.

He explores the concept of Biblical exorcism, particularly as anticolonialism and transcodes this practice into visual culture analysing his own high-profile documentaries, Black Messiah, God is Black, Empire Pays Back and The Great African Scandal.
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