Central European Journal for Contemporary Religion is a scholarly journal published both by the Hussite Theological Faculty of the Charles University and Karolinum Publishers, which aims to serve as a publication platform for Comparative Religion and related disciplines. It focuses mainly on contemporary religious phenomena with special (but not exclusive) focus on Central and Eastern Europe. It should serve both as a source of information on te religious life in the region and as a supply of scholarly studies focused on contemporary lived religion at large. It is published semi-annually both in print and online (free access). Its goal is to bring thought-provoking contributions related not only to current established religions and religious movements new and old, but also to contemporary spirituality in its wider context, including the New Age milieu, Neopaganism and pop-cultural spirituality. The journal also covers the latest theoretical and methodological trends in Comparative Religion, Ritual Studies and other disciplines. The editorial board consists of scholars from most Czech Comparative Religion departments, as well as experts on the most important religious traditions across the globe.
Cosmic Prison Break: From Gnostic Movies to Conspiracist Cosmology
Jan A. Kozák
published online: 14. 08. 2023
The article thematically and structurally analyses a group of films usually designated as “gnostic films”. These films share a common ideology as they postulate the existence of two worlds – one illusory and the other true. The hero must escape the false world and reach the true one. As the majority of gnostic films appeared at the turn of the millennium, the article also suggests what contributed to the emergence of these films. As the cosmology of the films bears a close similarity to the cosmology of conspiracy theories, the emergence of the films is shown to be a part of the sociocultural development of the conspiracist mindset entering the mainstream. In the 1990s, conspiracism was out of the closet and gained popularity, but it was not yet perceived as an imminent societal threat and therefore was not a taboo for Hollywood filmmakers. The 1990s were also the decade of a unipolar world order where the absence of an inimical Other engendered anxiety about the system itself, which is reflected in the analysed films.
keywords: conspiracy theory; mythology; gnosis; gnostic myth; gnostic film; cinema; demiurgos
Cosmic Prison Break: From Gnostic Movies to Conspiracist Cosmology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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