Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue

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The motion picture is an art form that has significantly influenced human culture. Films can shape our perceptions—from relationships and careers to good and evil. They are often a window into the human soul, a glimpse that can be both terrifying and holy.

In view of the increasingly powerful role that movies play in our cultural dialogue, Robert K. Johnston, professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, has written a book to guide Christian moviegoers into a...

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Reel Spirituality (Engaging Culture): Theology and Film in Dialogue

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Overview

The motion picture is an art form that has significantly influenced human culture. Films can shape our perceptions—from relationships and careers to good and evil. They are often a window into the human soul, a glimpse that can be both terrifying and holy.

In view of the increasingly powerful role that movies play in our cultural dialogue, Robert K. Johnston, professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, has written a book to guide Christian moviegoers into a theological analysis of and conversation with film. Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue is the first title in the new Baker Academic series Engaging Culture.

Intended for use in the college and seminary classroom, Reel Spirituality helps Christians interpret movies through the eyes of faith. It provides the theological underpinnings for this art form and fosters both dialogue and discipleship.

Among the more than 200 movies Johnston cites are American Beauty, The Apostle, The English Patient, The Godfather, Life Is Beautiful, The Sound of Music, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Truman Show.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801022418
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Series: Engaging Culture Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Johnston (PhD, Duke University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the coeditor of the Engaging Culture series and the Cultural Exegesis series and the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Useless Beauty and Finding God in the Movies.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 9
Acknowledgments 11
Introduction 13
1 The Power of Film 19
2 A Brief History of the Church and Hollywood 31
3 Theological Approaches to Film Criticism 41
4 Why Look at Film? A Theological Perspective 63
5 Are Movies Art? 87
6 In Film, Story Reigns Supreme 99
7 Becoming a Film Critic 125
8 Responding to Movies Theologically 151
9 An Example: The Movies of Peter Weir 173
Notes 197
Selected Bibliography of Theology and Film 209
Movies Cited 223
Subject Index 229
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