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Religious Films in Zimbabwean Contexts

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Film Reception Concerning Representations of Jesus

image of International Journal of Public Theology

This article presents the author’s original research of a reception study of religious films amongst Shona peoples in the Gora and Chikara villages, which are located in the Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. The two central questions of the author’s study are: First, in what ways might pre-existing Shona images of Jesus shape Shona responses to and interpretations of Jesus as he is portrayed in The Jesus Film (1979) and in indigenous, short, Jesus films in Zimbabwe today? Secondly, how might the viewing of these films affect these images of Jesus? This article addresses how indigenous, short Jesus films in Zimbabwe have manifested different representations of Jesus from the pervasive European image of Jesus that is perpetuated by The Jesus Film. This research is particularly relevant to current trends in media and technology, as the indigenous, short Jesus films are being distributed via mobile phones in Zimbabwe.

Affiliations: 1: University of


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