University of Houston Noah by Darren Aronofksy Bible Studies Movie Review Paper Much of the “conflict” between the Bible and modern science, in my view, ha

University of Houston Noah by Darren Aronofksy Bible Studies Movie Review Paper Much of the “conflict” between the Bible and modern science, in my view, has been due to the failure by many Bible readers and teachers to appreciate the important role of mythology in both an ancient and even modern context. Myth, as a literary work, isn’t primarily concerned with the factuality of a story so much as the importance of the lessons conveyed through it. The story might indeed have a great deal of fact associated with it, but it’s main purpose is not to convey mere facts. Truth is its primary goal. The modern western mind has difficulty separating these. We tend to require a thing be factual to be “true,” at least as it pertains to matters of faith. This is unfortunate because sacred texts (particularly the Bible), are full of examples wherein the truth of a story did not depend on its factuality (case in point: the parables of Jesus). For this reason, creation stories in the ancient world were more meant to teach “how things are now” rather than “how things went then.” The condition of mankind and Divine nature are greater themes in creation stories than how scientifically verifiable or “accurate” the story might be.

In many ways, modern film has “resurrected” this ancient practice of conveying truth through well-told stories. Consider the social commentary of films like “The Purge,” or the cultural isolation of Christian evangelicals through M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village.” Good movies deliver more “truth” to us than in a year of sermons, pamphlets or slick television salesmen. For those with the “eyes to see, and ears to here,” good cinematic art…good films, “teach” us things that no other method would have.

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For this reason, I want you to find access to and watch (finding it is up to you) “Noah” with Russel Crowe. Obviously it derives much of its material from the Biblical tale of Noah and the flood. However, too little material exists in the Biblical account of Noah to fill an entire movie and create a compelling story, so the film’s creator derives elements from elsewhere in the Bible, and even explores themes that theologians have grappled with for thousands of years regarding the nature of humankind and “knowing God’s will.” This is NOT the cute Sunday school story! However, it DOES force the viewer to examine whether they might have thought too simplistically about this tale before. Some will react to it negatively because it differs so much from the manner they were taught to think about it. That’s fine also.

For full credit (15 extra points), a five page, double spaced paper must be written on the major themes of the film, its tensions, conflicts and conclusions. Do some research into how the movie was received (positive and negative) and how the director chose to portray certain elements in the story (rock angels?). This is to be a well thought paper. No short papers saying, “I liked it!” or “I hated it.” Five pages minimum!

Talk about the special effects, the editing, the acting, and the screenplay. Talk about what the story has to “say” about humankind and Divine interaction. When is the story set? In the ancient world? Can you even place it in time? What does THAT tell you? Is it a story that’s “true” anytime?

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