“Noah”: The Limits of Patriarchal Religion


By Andrew Wilson

WilsonThe new film “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, has received mixed reviews. It partakes of the dark dystopian and apocalyptic spirit of so many contemporary Hollywood movies that is a turn-off to people seeking more wholesome and family-oriented fare. But if you sit through it, you will at least be rewarded with an encounter with some serious theology.

This is no simple-minded Bible movie. Director Darren Aronofsky said it is “the least biblical movie ever made.” He takes considerable liberties, including not giving Noah’s three sons each a wife to accompany them in the ark and portraying the Nephilim (Gen. 6:4) as Transformer-like rock monsters that defend Noah and help him build the ark. He makes the villain, Tubal-Cain, a stowaway in the ark and gives him some fine lines where he declares his resentment against God for abandoning humanity to destruction. Many Christian fundamentalists will take offense.

But adherents of the Divine Principle can find much to cheer about.

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