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Carly's avatar

Do you know of any contemporary parallels in film, tv, literature, etc. with biblical stories (especially about women in the bible)

Asked by Carly (4550points) May 1st, 2011

I’m taking a Bible class with a feminist focus, and my teacher asks us almost every week if we can think of contemporary parallels compared to stories we’ve read in the bible.

So far all I’ve been able to think of is the example of the tv series Desperate Housewives, where the women of the show are presented naked and holding an apple in the opening credits (paralleling the story of Eve).

Can you guys think of anything else?

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7 Answers

Ron_C's avatar

There are a number of movies and stories about betrayal, like Samson and Delilah where a man is betrayed by a woman. Infidelity is a common theme like David and Bathsheba, where a husband gets killed by someone stalking his wife and girlfriend. Though the name and places are changed the story is still the same.

linguaphile's avatar

Many— I’ll start with these two::
One poem by John Keats, “Lamia,” talks about a Greek myth about one of the many women impregnated by Zeus—she had several children that Hera killed. In her grief, she roamed the woods consuming young men until she morphed into a serpent. This has been linked to early vampiric lore as well as described as one of the earliest sources of the connection between Eve and the serpent.
Another pop culture-Bible-feminism connection is the Lilith Fair (as well as some of Sarah McLachlan and Ani Defranco’s songs). Lilith is a reference to Adam’s first wife- the one God made for him to be his equal, but I’m not sure why it’s not in the canonical books of the Bible.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Chocolat. Hollywood Jesus has a good analysis.

Kardamom's avatar

This was a few years ago, but there was an excellent TV show called Joan of Arcadia where a young high school student was called upon to be one of God’s reluctant helpers.

Then there’s a movie with Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell called Bruce Almighty I think his girlfriend’s thoughts about this whole subject would be useful for your project.

And the movie with Meg Tilley and Jane Fonda called Agnes of God which deals with a potential divine birth given by a nun.

And there’s a really funny (but poingnant) comedy about the mistaken identity of the Messiah, in the the Monty Python movie The Life of Brian‘s_Life_of_Brian. The virgin Mandy, Brian’s mother, will probably work for your project.

This was from 1980, but the movie called Oh God, Part II involved a little girl being called upon by God to spread the word.

filmfann's avatar

The movie “The Day The Earth Stood Still” was a retelling of the story of Jesus Christ.

sorry, couldn’t think of a woman’s story

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I agree with @Kardamom on The Life of Brian. Judith is a good female character, particularly when she speaks to Brian as he is on the cross and reveals that she knows his meaning in dying on the cross.

shrubbery's avatar

Phillip Pulman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy. The female protagonist, Lyra, is kind of like the “next Eve”, though the story doesn’t take place in our world.

There is also a book called The Garden by Elsie V. Aidinoff which basically turns the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden on its head. The snake is Eve’s teacher and is kind and encouraging, she becomes strong and smart and God is a bit of a dickhead about it, really.

There is definitely a movie or two about Samson and Delilah, not just metaphorically.

There is also a song by Regina Spektor called Samson.

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