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  • Dr. David Resnick, of the Churgin School of Education, points to the Israeli flag represented on the CESNUR conference sign

    Dr. David Resnick, of the Churgin School of Education, points to the Israeli flag represented on the CESNUR conference sign

    Churgin School of Education Professor Lectures about Hollywood in Taiwan

    Date: 2018-07-12 Hour: 12:41

    Dr. David Resnick, retired Senior Lecturer in the Churgin School of Education, brought the Israeli flag to Taiwan when he presented a paper at the annual CESNUR Conference.

    CESNUR is the Center for Studies on New Religions, dealing with well-known "new religions" like Scientology, but also lesser known ones which now flourish on the internet. The new Taiwanese religion Weixin Shengjiao hosted the conference, which was held on the campus of their college in Nantou Province.

    Resnick presented a paper entitled "Why Hollywood flirts with new religions, but refuses to adopt them."  The paper was well received, judging by the large number of enthusiastic questions directed to Resnick after his presentation. Resnick's basic premise was that Hollywood movies must support the status quo in order to ensure box office success. Yet they also endorse individualism and an individual's spiritual quest outside established religions, hence the flirtation.

    The paper was a spin-off of Resnick's recent book, Representing Education in Film, which features a chapter on religious education. But the conference presentation was a religious analysis of the film Keeping Up with the Steins, different from the educational analysis in his book. 

    Resnick posed a question of his own to other presenters, "What's the oldest new religion?" He thinks it might be Judaism itself. After all, he says, when Abraham came on the stage of history, it was already crowded with great civilizations and well-developed religions, like those in Egypt and Babylonia.

    Resnick first heard of CESNUR last year, when their annual conference was held in Jerusalem.