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“God is box office,” a remark attributed to Cecil B. DeMille, has remained pertinent as religious films retain their global popularity more than 100 years after the advent of cinema. As a major icon of modernity, cinema might have been expected to ignore religion; instead, it has played an important role in disseminating religious belief and practice, with film showing a natural affinity for depicting the religious because of its aesthetic qualities; its narratives, spectacle, music, and performance; and the sense of wonder it conveys even today. Cinema is part of the continuing history of the mediated nature of religion itself and adds a new layer to centuries of images, plays, songs, storytelling, and other forms.

Religion is present in cinema not only in terms of ...

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