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Death and the Afterlife

6. Death and the Afterlife in Film

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About this Lecture


In this final module we look at the insights into death and the afterlife that we find in film. In particular we focus on (i) visual presentations of heaven, hell and reincarnation in film (ii) the dialogue between theologians, and filmmakers who are afforded the creative license to narrativise doctrinal themes around death and the afterlife, and (iii) what films about the next life can teach us about the present one.


In this course Dr Chris Deacy (University of Kent) explores death and the afterlife. In the first module, we think about some questions raised by the fact of death and the prospect of an afterlife. After that, we look at the role of Heaven, including theocentric and anthropocentric models of eternal life. In the third module, we turn to Hell: tackling the moral issues around Hell, and how these are shaped by notions of place and punishment. Then we look at the relationship between the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul, before enquiring into how near death experiences might provide more information about the experience of death and the possibility of a life that comes after. Finally, in the sixth module, we look at the ways in which film has contributed to the cultural landscape around death and the afterlife, as well as examining how film might disclose truths about this life, by imagining the next.


Dr Chris Deacy is a Reader in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Kent. His research interests are in Christianity and the modern world, as well as religion and film. His most recent publications include Screening the Afterlife: Theology, Eschatology and Film (2012), and Christmas as Religion: Rethinking Santa, the Secular, and the Sacred (2016)

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Deacy, C. (2022, February 09). Death and the Afterlife - Death and the Afterlife in Film [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Deacy, C. "Death and the Afterlife – Death and the Afterlife in Film." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Feb 2022,

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