Into the Dark (Cultural Exegesis): Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century

Into the Dark (Cultural Exegesis): Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century

by Craig Detweiler
     
 

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In this book, Craig Detweiler examines forty-five films from the twenty-first century that resonate theologically--from the Lord of the Rings trilogy to Little Miss Sunshine--offering groundbreaking insight into their scriptural connections and theological applications.

Detweiler writes with the eye of a filmmaker, leads Hollywood and religion…  See more details below

Overview

In this book, Craig Detweiler examines forty-five films from the twenty-first century that resonate theologically--from the Lord of the Rings trilogy to Little Miss Sunshine--offering groundbreaking insight into their scriptural connections and theological applications.

Detweiler writes with the eye of a filmmaker, leads Hollywood and religion initiatives at Fuller Seminary, and even came to faith through cinema. In this book, he unpacks the "theology of everyday life," exploring the Spirit of God in creation, redemption, and "general revelation" through sometimes unlikely filmmakers. It's the first authoritative book that dissects up-to-date movies selected by the popular Internet Movie Database.

This book is recommended for teachers, students, pastors, film fans, and those interested in the intersection of Christianity and culture.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Detweiler delivers one of the more successful and substantial theological interpretations of contemporary movies, mining film for spiritual meaning. The author, who is codirector of the Reel Spirituality Institute, contends that film is a powerful tool for society's self-reflection in a postmodern world. Nostalgia, memory and amnesia are three key themes in contemporary film that offer insights about our culture's sense of being lost in this postmodern context without any sense of direction. Detweiler brings his theological expertise to bear on such recent works as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Million Dollar Baby and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Besides their impressive entertainment value, these films and several others are rich in God language and religious significance. Why, some may wonder, do we need to reflect upon films so intensely? The answer is that we don't, but if we are grasping for meaning in our culture, as Detweiler contends, movies are a fine place to start looking for God. (July)

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Library Journal

Part of Baker Academic's "Cultural Exegesis" series, meant to engage modern-day experiences from a theological perspective, this unique book skillfully combines popular movies with evangelical principles. Its basic purpose is to extrapolate Christian lessons and biblical themes from some 45 top Hollywood films, among them Walk the Line, Hotel Rwanda, Little Miss Sunshine, Gladiator, Shrek, Finding Nemo, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Detweiler (theology & culture, Fuller Theological Seminary), who has previously written A Matrix of Meaning: Finding God in Popular Culture, another entry in this series, here posits that popular culture doesn't need to be contrary to contemporary spirituality but that it can be reflective of Christian values and even instructional in communicating religious beliefs. This is certainly truer of some of the films Detweiler discusses than others. The text is complete with an appendix, notes, and a subject index. Recommended for larger public and seminary libraries.
—John-Leonard Berg

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585588466
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/2008
Series:
Cultural Exegesis
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Craig Detweiler (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of communication at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He previously served as codirector of the Reel Spirituality Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary. Detweiler has written scripts for numerous Hollywood films, and his social documentary, Purple State of Mind (www.purplestateofmind.com), debuted in 2008. He has been featured in the New York Times, on CNN, and on NPR and is the coauthor of A Matrix of Meanings.
Craig Detweiler (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is an author, award-winning filmmaker, and cultural commentator who has been featured in the New York Times, on CNN, and on NPR. He is professor of communication and director of the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Detweiler is the author of Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century, coauthor of A Matrix of Meanings, and editor of Halos and Avatars.

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