AbstractThis chapter on the relationship between atheism and film was commissioned by the editors on the basis of Power’s strong research interests in atheist philosophy (particularly the work of Ludwig Feuerbach, about whom Power has published several articles), and genres of cinema (particularly Soviet and communist-era) that question religious orthodoxy. The research is strongly original. There has previously been little existing scholarly work that explicitly thematises the existence of a strong conceptual link between atheism in cinema, even though there have been many ‘atheist’ films. Power’s essay forms the final chapter of the handbook and points forward to new developments in atheist research. Power reflected on atheist themes in earlier theorists of cinema (for example, Benjamin) and extracted a theory of film from pre-cinematic thinkers (Plato and Feuerbach). She pointed towards a canon of atheist cinema that involved close analysis of several films (particularly the work of Dziga Vertov). Power’s chapter contributes to a growing body of work that conceives cinema as a medium for the exploration of philosophical ideas and major concepts, and as such, addresses formal, technical and expressive dimensions of cinema as a cultural phenomenon. Power’s chapter examines cinematic atheism both at the level of form and as regards content, drawing fine distinctions between cinema as a vehicle for atheist ideas, cinema as a replacement for religious behaviour and of its possibilities for factual documentation of atheist ways of life, as well as a vehicle for fictional explorations of anti-and non-religious themes. Although published late in 2013, Power has already received a request from the editor of the New Humanist to serve as a corresponding editor with particular focus on cinema, and a piece on the topic has been commissioned for the magazine.
Power, Nina <http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/view/creators/Power=3ANina=3A=3A.html>, 2013, Book Section, Film In: The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199644650