I was raised in a Christian family, going to church every week, but somewhere in my high school years my enthusiasm for church diminished greatly and my passion for movies awoke. In thinking about this transition, I’m not sure it was entirely coincidental. There’s an inherently spiritual component to movies, and all art but movies in particular for me, in that it stirs up a certain emotional response and a feeling of connectedness to another person and other people. It’s not unusual to experience an epiphany of some sort at a movie, spawning out of the ideas and images laid out before our eyes.
Given the high standing movies have come to enjoy in our culture, it’s not surprising that it shares so many similarities with the area of human experience and expression that once dominated this culture, the realm of religion. They both have demonstrated tremendous influence on the morals, education, and catharsis of culture, with some potentially harmful side effects. Surely there are other institutions, like sports, that bear these kinds of traits in bringing people together on a grand scale for a common cause. So I’m not saying one equals the other, but rather that they both tap into an element of the human experience in a strange yet profound way.
Here are 9 similarities I’ve identified between movies and church that are rather striking.
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