'I was a stranger, and ye took me not in': Deus ludens and theology of hospitality in Lars von Trier's Dogville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article I propose an interpretation of Lars von Trier's Dogville (2003) as a theological and philosophical film. Dogville occasions a series of theologicalĝ€"philosophical reflections on grave topics such as hospitality, homelessness, home, alienation, divine trials and Deus ludens. In my interpretation Dogville's film narrative is, allegorically, about a homeless divinity that, in the process of searching for shelter and hospitality, is putting humanity to the test. The character Grace is increasingly asserting herself as a cinematic metaphor for an ironic god. As the film narrative unfolds, this becomes increasingly evident, culminating in the final scenes, with their numerous visual and textual allusions to the Judgment Day. I will show that in Dogville both the narrative proper and the film's aesthetic vision are philosophically and theologically loaded in a significant way. I will also be discussing Dogville in the light of two biblical texts (Job and Matthew 25), and in relation to Dostoevsky's legend of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-78
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of European Studies
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • Divine trial
  • Grand Inquisitor
  • Hospitality
  • Jan Patočka
  • Theologia ludens

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of ''I was a stranger, and ye took me not in': Deus ludens and theology of hospitality in Lars von Trier's Dogville'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this