Gospel According To Hollywood

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Overview

This book will thrill movie buffs and casual fans alike. In an engaging style, author Greg Garrett looks at the theological elements in dozens of classic and new classic Hollywood films, including a discussion about what the new openness to spirituality in the movies might mean for the future of American cinema and American religion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

It is easy to see the religious imagery in movies like The Passion of the Christand The Mission, but much more difficult to uncover it in mainstream Hollywood films. Garrett, professor of English at Baylor University and popular author, analyzes dozens of films and extracts their religious and spiritual themes. Rather than focus solely on contemporary films, Garrett digs into the past five decades and investigates important works that are often overlooked in similar books. He masterfully weaves threads of Christian history, doctrine and tradition into the chapters, utilizing these films as platforms from which to teach the reader. The chapter on peace and justice is especially powerful, as the author not only instructs but also advocates for working toward a more just society. Being a Christian means to put one's faith in action, and Garrett is able to elucidate how these movies can have the power to encourage some to live a more authentic Christian life. While he realizes that not all Christians will buy into his primary thesis-that movies can reveal something about spirituality and God's action in the world-he also understands that "many theologians have argued that nothing in creation is outside the scope of God." This is a bold and courageous belief, and kudos to Garrett for advancing it. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Negotiating the tricky terrain between spirituality and popular culture is a specialty of Garrett (Holy Superheroes: Exploring Faith and Spirituality in Comic Books). In his latest work, Garrett casts his net more widely than before, using films as far-ranging in date and genre as The Philadelphia Story, Brokeback Mountain, Unforgiven, Crash, and North by Northwest, among many others, to discuss the hard and serious traditional Christian themes of faith, the Trinity, sin, grace, redemption, and justice. Garrett's book confines itself to movies that are not explicitly religious (which, as Garrett recognizes, preach to the choir) but finds valuable and distinctive lessons in movies with mass appeal. The strength and fascination of the book lie in Garrett's deftness in showing moviegoers that the messages they can feel really arethere-and in persuading the devout that there are values to be found, even in the cineplex. Highly recommended.


—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664230524
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 6/19/2007
  • Series: The Gospel According To... Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 1,045,692
  • Product dimensions: 0.45 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Greg Garrett is Professor of English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He serves the Episcopal Church as Writer-in-Residence at the Seminary of the Southwest and as lay preacher at St. David's Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. He is the author of numerous books, including the critically-acclaimed novel Free Bird.
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