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Reframing Theology and Film: New Focus for an Emerging Discipline


The study of theology and film is fewer than three decades old. What, then, does the future hold for this evolving subject? In Reframing Theology and Film, Robert Johnston has drawn together more than a dozen scholars who regularly write and teach on the topic; their contributions explore how the discipline...
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Reframing Theology and Film (Cultural Exegesis): New Focus for an Emerging Discipline

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The study of theology and film is fewer than three decades old. What, then, does the future hold for this evolving subject? In Reframing Theology and Film, Robert Johnston has drawn together more than a dozen scholars who regularly write and teach on the topic; their contributions explore how the discipline of theology and film can flourish and mature. The book also emphasizes the overlooked and undervalued aspects of theology and film. Contributors include:

Craig Detweiler
Barry Taylor
Gaye Williams Ortiz
Sara Anson Vaux
Gordon Lynch
Terry Lindvall
Clive Marsh
Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran
Catherine M. Barsotti
John Lyden
Mitch Avila
Christopher Deacy
Rose Pacatte, FSP
Gerard Loughlin
Robert K. Johnston

"Here is a fine collection of essays full of rich detail, engaging insights, and provocative suggestions. The impressive cast of authors points beyond many of the usual frames of study, offering original perspectives and new approaches. Without exception, the chapters make a valuable contribution to ongoing dynamic conversations. This is a 'must-read' for anyone with an interest in film and theology."
--Jolyon Mitchell, senior lecturer, Edinburgh University; author of Media Violence and Christian Ethics and coeditor of The Religion and Film Reader

"In this single volume, the field of theology and film has matured from infancy to adulthood. Robert Johnston has assembled a top-notch group of scholars to set the stage for emerging directions in the field. No future writing on the topic can ignore the categories reframed by the contributors here."
--S. Brent Plate, editor of Representing Religion in World Cinema and coeditor of The Religion and Film Reader

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801032400
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Series: Cultural Exegesis
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (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 both the Engaging Culture and the Cultural Exegesis series and is the author or coauthor of several books, including Useless Beauty, Finding God in the Movies, and Reel Spirituality.
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Table of Contents

Notes on the Contributors
Introduction: Revisioning the Discipline (Robert K. Johnston)
Section 1: Moving Beyond a "Literary" Paradigm
1. Seeing and Believing: Film Theory as a Window into a Visual Faith (Craig Detweiler)
2. The Color of Sound: Music and Meaning Making in Film (Barry Taylor)
Section 2: Broadening Our Film Selection
3. World Cinema: Opportunities for Dialogue with Religion and Theology (Gaye Williams Ortiz)
4. Letters on Better Movies (Sara Anson Vaux)
Section 3: Extending Our Conversation Partners
5. Film and the Subjective Turn: How the Sociology of Religion Can Contribute to Theological Readings of Film (Gordon Lynch)
6. Hollywood Chronicles: Toward an Intersection of Church History and Film History (Terry Lindvall)
Section 4: Engaging the Viewer
7. On Dealing with What Films Actually Do to People: The Practice and Theory of Film Watching in Theology/Religion and Film Discussion (Clive Marsh)
8. Polanyi's Personal Knowledge and Watching Movies (Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran)
9. Películas--¿Through Whose Lenses? Going to the Movies with Latinas in LA (Catherine M. Barsotti)
Section 5: Reconsidering the Normative
10. Theology and Film: Interreligious Dialogue and Theology (John Lyden)
11. From Film Emotion to Normative Criticism (Mitch Avila)
12. From Bultmann to Burton, Demythologizing the Big Fish: The Contribution of Modern Christian Theologians to the Theology-Film Conversation (Christopher Deacy)
Section 6: Making Use of Our Theological Traditions
13. Shaping Morals, Shifting Views: Have the Rating Systems Influenced How (Christian) America Sees Movies? (Rose Pacatte, FSP)
14. Within the Image: Film as Icon (Gerard Loughlin)
15. Transformative Viewing: Penetrating the Story's Surface (Robert K. Johnston)
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