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Religions 2016, 7(12), 147; doi:10.3390/rel7120147

Late Bergman: The Lived Experience of the Absence of God in Faithless and Saraband

Honors College, Baylor University, 1301 S. University Parks Dr., Waco, TX 76798, USA
Academic Editor: Joseph Kickasola
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 27 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Film and Lived Theology)

Abstract

Acclaimed as one of the great filmmakers of the 20th century, Ingmar Bergman is for many an arch-modernist, whose work is characterized by a high degree of self-conscious artistry and by dark, even nihilistic themes. Film critics increasingly identify him as a kind of philosopher of the human condition, especially of the dislocations and misery of the modern human condition. However, Bergman’s films are not embodiments of philosophical theories, nor do they include explicit discussions of theory. Instead, he attends to the concrete lived experience of those who, on the one hand, suffer from doubt, dislocation, and self-hatred and, on the other, long for confession and communion. In the middle of his career, especially in his famous faith trilogy of the early 1960s, Bergman investigated the lived experience of the absence of God. It is commonly thought that after this period, the question of God disappeared. However, in his last two films, Faithless and Saraband, Bergman explores the lived experience of the absence of God. Indeed, he moves beyond a simple negation to explore the complex interplay of absence. He even illustrates the possibility of a kind of communion for which so many of his characters—early, middle and late—long. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ingmar Bergman; Saraband; Faithless; God; nihilism; communion; philosophy; film Ingmar Bergman; Saraband; Faithless; God; nihilism; communion; philosophy; film
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hibbs, T. Late Bergman: The Lived Experience of the Absence of God in Faithless and Saraband. Religions 2016, 7, 147.

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