Bergesen, Albert J. 1942-
BERGESEN, Albert J. 1942-
PERSONAL: Born October 4, 1942, in Rockville Center, NY; son of Albert G. (a regional commissioner of U.S. Customs) and Dorothy Bergesen; married Susie; children: Jay M. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., 1964; Stanford University, Ph.D., 1974.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Sociology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. E-mail—[email protected]edu.
CAREER: University of Arizona, Tucson, professor of sociology, 1973—.
MEMBER: American Sociological Association, American Political Science Association, Pacific Sociological Association, International Studies Association.
(Editor) Studies of the Modern World-System, Academic Press (New York, NY), 1980.
(Editor) Crises in the World System, Sage (Beverly Hills, CA), 1983.
The Sacred and the Subversive: Political Witch-Hunts as National Rituals, "Study of the Scientific Study of Religion" monograph series, 1984.
(With Andrew M. Greeley) God in the Movies, Transaction Press (Piscataway, NJ), 2000.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Grammar of Art.
SIDELIGHTS: Albert J. Bergesen is an avid movie buff and, with fellow faculty member and Catholic priest Andrew M. Greeley, is the author of God in the Movies. Together, the two men taught a class on religion and film, and the book evolved from this course. Although some movies, such as The Ten Commandments and The Robe, deal directly with religious images and themes, Bergesen and Greeley contend that God "makes cameo appearance in genres ranging from action western to quirky comedy," according to a contributor in Newswise. The book discusses these images, as well as the cultural parables they present. Bergesen told Angela Orlando, in the Arizona Daily Wildcat Online, "We are like urban anthropologists reporting on the personality of today's culture. Not every movie is religious, but the theme certainly shows up." For example, the book notes that "The Force" in the Star Wars saga is a science-fiction metaphor for God or the divine spirit; in Field of Dreams God is manifested as a voice giving instructions to the main character, and as the tight bond between father and son. In Flatliners God is shown as pure white light. Bergesen told Orlando, "These movies aren't made by fanatics.... They're about people believing in something else, wanting redemption and forgiveness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Sociology, January, 1988, p. 27.
International Organization, winter, 1982, p. 135; spring, 1996, p. 325.
Social Forces, September, 1989, p. 323.
Newswise,http://www.newswise.com/ (December 8, 2000),"God in Cinema: New Book Explores the Imagery."
Arizona Daily Wildcat Online,http://www.wildcat.Arizona.edu/. (February 12, 2001), Angela Orlando, "Redemption at the Movies."*