Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago’s Religion on the Silver Screen Lecture Series to Feature Jesus of Hollywood
Noted expert on Early Christianity and Film Adele Reinhartz to speak at Loyola

Chicago, February 22, 2008 – Loyola University Chicago will present renowned scholar Adele Reinhartz of the University of Ottawa and “Jesus of Hollywood,” an illustrated lecture, during its Spring 2008 lecture series, “Religion on the Silver Screen.” Taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 26, Reinhartz will discuss the diverse ways in which Jesus has been portrayed in cinema, tracing the development of a “Hollywood” hermeneutic that plays to popular concerns. The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in the Simpson Multi-Purpose Room located on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“Jesus of Hollywood” will be one of four lecture presentations to address the issue of how religion and religious identity has been portrayed through popular culture, in particular film. In a lecture sponsored by the Dean’s Special Activity Fund, the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, the Theology Department, and Loyola’s Jewish organization Hillel, Reinhartz will discuss the vivid and evolving portrayals of Jesus in film. The presentation will include film clips ranging from the silent film era to Mel Gibson’s 2004 blockbuster, Passion of the Christ.

“Adele Reinhartz’ book ‘Jesus of Hollywood’ represents the definitive study of the image of Jesus in films. As a historian of religion who studies its representation in the media and an expert on early Christianity, Reinhartz is able to help us understand the currents and contexts that have shaped the representations of Jesus encountered in cinema and their reverberations through popular culture,” says Marcia Hermansen, a professor in Loyola’s Theology Department, as well as the event’s main coordinator. “The response to Mel Gibson’s film, ‘The Passion’ (2004) is a recent example of this.”

Reinhartz, a professor of Classics and Religious Studies, was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2003 and is the author of several books, including “Scripture on the Silver Screen” (2003). Her 2007 book “Jesus of Hollywood,” which serves as the foundation of the lecture, has been critically acclaimed for her in-depth analysis into how the cinematic Jesus reflects society’s concerns rather than biblical representations of Jesus of Nazareth. Dr. Reinhartz’s book will be available for purchase and her signature at the lecture.

About “Religion on the Silver Screen”
Beginning on Feb. 19, Loyola University Chicago will hold a series of four lecture presentations dedicated to how aspects of religion has been portrayed in cinema and popular culture. The lectures will feature nationally renowned scholars and is free to the general public. For additional information and lecture schedules, please contact Marcia Hermansen at mherman@luc.edu. More detailed information and flyers are available at www.luc.edu/faculty/mherman/.

About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,500 students, which includes nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S.News & World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities,” and named the University a “best value” in its 2008 rankings. For more information, please visit our Web site at LUC.edu.

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