Between Traditional Christian Theology and Moral Parables of African Popular Films: Communicating Gospel Values Contextually
The assumption that films are works of arts that basically create illusion of realities can sometimes be misleading. Like every other communication tool in human history, they do not only interrogate the society but also chart its course as moral compasses leading to self reflection and conscience formation. Thus, they are at times theological communications salvaging the dark themes of human existence with integrating symbols and dramatic parables imbued with didactic narratives that challenge the epistemic ambivalences of traditional theologies. In this chapter that explores the interface between filmic parables and traditional Christian theology, the thrust is to showcase how African cinematic representations resonate with audiences contextually in a fusion of communion and communication that questions the critical faith statements and dogmatic doctrines of theological taxonomies in the presence of people’s everyday hardships. Thus by textualising key scenes in films like Cry Freedom (1987), Act of Faith (2008) and Onyebuchim (2010) this paper reviews the challenges of pastoral and theological communications in Africa and beyond; while calling for revolutionalised demonstration of the ‘search for values’ around cultural meanings.
Key Words: Christian theology, Moral parables, Popular films, Communications and Context.