Film is undoubtedly one of the principle ways in which people have thought about, and coped with, the Holocaust. In this class we will consider how films about the Holocaust address, both explicitly and implicitly, religious ideas, motifs, and communities. How do Holocaust films prompt us to think about God, evil, and meaning? How do Holocaust films attempt to address (and even cultivate) specific religious and political communities? How do Holocaust films attempt to depict or represent "the unimaginable"? These are some of the questions we will consider as we survey a broad range of films. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 100-level RELG course and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.
Ben Stahlberg is broadly interested in the ways in which philosophers and intellectuals think about (and often re-envision) religion. Of late he has been working on the ways in which Judaism responds to and is rethought in the wake of the Holocaust, with a particular interest in the role of film in the production of these "responses."