Movement as Immobility - A Conference on Film and Christianity

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Centre for Comparative Studies - University of Lisbon

In Simone Weil’s “First and Last Notebooks” we find a note that describes the sea as “a movement within immobility,” the “Image of primal matter”, which leads this Christian philosopher to see music also as a movement that “takes possession of all our soul—and this movement is nothing but immobility”. Perhaps this is an even more fitting description of film, with its images in motion. Its movements can reconnect us with the movements of the world, those motions in which a mysterious sense of order, what Weil calls immobility, arises.

This conference aims at examining the connections between film and Christianity focusing on such aesthetic aspects that, while not rejecting film representations of religious subjects, gives primacy to film style and film experience.

The event is organized by the Centre for Comparative Studies of the University of Lisbon (as part of the research project “Cinema and the World: Studies on Space and Cinema”), to be held at the University of Lisbon, School of Arts and Humanities, on November 24 and 25, 2017.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

- stillness and movement;

- prayer and filmmaking;

- post-secular cinema;

- film and a phenomenology of Christian life;

- film as a personal expression of Christian faith;

- film and Christian spiritual experiences;

- boundaries and commonalities between Christian traditions;

- film and Christian theology;

- Christian cinematic landscapes.

The Conference’s working languages are Portuguese and English.



Proposals for twenty-minute papers should include the title of the presentation, a 250 word abstract, and a brief autobiographical statement (circa 200 words). Proposals should be submitted to by June 30, 2017. Participants will receive a response by the end of July.



Filipa Rosário (University of Lisbon)

Rita Benis (University of Lisbon)

Sérgio Dias Branco (University of Coimbra)



Catherine Wheatley (King’s College London)

José Tolentino Mendonça (Catholic University of Portugal - Lisbon)