Reading Is Believing: The Christian Faith through Literature and Film [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this fascinating and fresh look at the Apostles' Creed, David Cunningham argues that reading fiction and film can lead Christians to a deeper, more precise, and more experiential knowledge of their faith. Drawing on novels, plays, and films by the likes of Dickens, Shakespeare, P. D. James, and Graham Greene, Cunningham discusses the Apostles' Creed in detail, using one primary text to illuminate each article.

Cunningham begins with a brief...
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Reading Is Believing: The Christian Faith through Literature and Film

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Overview

In this fascinating and fresh look at the Apostles' Creed, David Cunningham argues that reading fiction and film can lead Christians to a deeper, more precise, and more experiential knowledge of their faith. Drawing on novels, plays, and films by the likes of Dickens, Shakespeare, P. D. James, and Graham Greene, Cunningham discusses the Apostles' Creed in detail, using one primary text to illuminate each article.

Cunningham begins with a brief history of the Christian creeds and their significance. In addition to plot summaries, each chapter includes discussion questions addressing the relationship between literature and faith and concludes with a works cited list and a list for further reading.

This book will delight Christians who want to better understand the creeds and basic doctrinal confessions of the Christian faith. While academics, theologians, and literature and film aficionados will celebrate
Cunningham's keen literary and theological insights, the book is equally readable for those with little background in these fields of study.

Reading Is Believing is an ideal text for Christian education classes, adult Sunday school, and church-based book clubs. It will serve well as a text in theology courses, as well as various courses in the humanities, ethics, and cultural and religious studies.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There is something truly wonderful about the power of a good story. Cunningham, a professor at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, demonstrates how that power can be used to enliven the historic faith of the church. After a helpful introduction to the Apostles' Creed, Cunningham takes each of its 12 articles and uses a book or film (or both) to illustrate how the creedal statement connects with our ordinary lives. His purpose is to help Christians "understand, embrace, cherish and practice their faith" in a way that will be accessible to readers who lack extensive background in theology. His innovative use of these stories will certainly help readers do just that, regardless of their previous training. Each chapter begins with a discussion (which is sometimes a bit too much like a lecture) of the theology behind the article in question. His best insights are found in the stimulating remarks about the stories themselves, like Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Toni Morrison's Beloved and Nikos Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ. Particularly moving is Cunningham's connection between the phrase "born of the Virgin Mary" and P. D. James's novel The Children of Men, as Cunningham illustrates how the birth of one child can have a profound impact. Certainly, this book will help Christian readers understand their faith in deeper, more refined ways. It will also inspire many trips to the bookstore in search of the excellent literature recommended here. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441239099
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 1,225,052
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

DAVID S. CUNNINGHAM is professor of theology and ethics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He is the author of These Three Are One and the award-winning Faithful Persuasion.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: "I Believe . . ."

1. "God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth"
Iris Murdoch, The Time of the Angels

2. "Jesus Christ, God's Only Son, Our Lord"
Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

3. "Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary"
P. D. James, The Children of Men

4. "Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was Crucified, Died, and Was Buried"
Charles Dickens, Hard Times

5. "Descended into Hell; on the Third Day, Rose Again from the Dead"
David James Duncan, The Brothers K

6. "Ascended into Heaven, Sits at the Right Hand of God"
William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale

7. "Will Come Again to Judge the Living and the Dead"
Toni Morrison, Beloved

8. "I Believe in the Holy Spirit"
Flannery O'Connor, "The Enduring Chill"

9. "The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints"
Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

10. "The Forgiveness of Sins"
Helen Prejean, Dead Man WalkingI

11. "The Resurrection of the Flesh"
Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

12. "And Life Everlasting"
Guidseppe Tornatore, A Pure Formality

Conclusion: "Amen"
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