Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century  -     By: Craig Detweiler
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Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century

Baker Academic / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

In Into the Dark, screenwriter and producer Craig Detweiler, examines forty-five 21st century films with thematic theological undertones and offers groundbreaking insight into their scriptural connections and theological applications. Using the wildly popular Internet Movie Database, Detweiler deftly dissects up-to-date productions and opens up lively discussions on anthropology, the problem of evil, sin, interconnectivity, postmodern relationships, ethics, fantasy, and communities in crisis. Notable films include Memento, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, United 93, Million Dollar Baby, Little Miss Sunshine and Walk the Line. Into the Dark comes highly recommended for college and seminary students in film, theology, and communications courses as well as pastors, film fans, and others interested in Christianity and the cinema.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801035929
ISBN-13: 9780801035920
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Cultural Exegesis

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

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 (, 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.

Publisher's Weekly

Detweiler delivers one of the more successful and substantial theological interpretations of contemporary movies, mining film for spiritual meaning. The author, who is co-director 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 several recent works such 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) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

3.5 Stars Out Of 5
3.5 out of 5
3.5 out Of 5
(3.5 out of 5)
3 out Of 5
(3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3 out Of 5
(3 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
Page 1 of 1
  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thoughtful and well-written
    January 20, 2011
    Jim Parsons
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is an amazingly good book. The author has done well to pull theology and film study together into a tremendously well-written book - and one full of substance. Obviously, one would have to be interested in insights about movies and theology to care, but for anyone who does want to think this book is a valuable resource of thoughtful considerations. The writing is exquisite and the author has done his homework - and beyond. I found treasures enough for weeks here, and would recommend the book to anyone who cares to read deeply. The book isn't for someone hoping to get a "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" review of a particular film, and certainly the author's wide range of acceptance for film reviews might offend those more likely to want to "cover their eyes" or exorcise anything that might offend - some movies reviewed have "bad" language, certainly. This said, I cannot say how much I appreciated this author's dedication to good writing and solid thinking! Two Thumbs Up!!
  2. Colorado
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    desperately needed an editor
    November 11, 2010
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 2
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    As a non-fiction book about movies, this book lacks the basic formatting and organization to make the information accessible. It's basically a long essay that references movies. If you want to read the book straight through, it flows well. If you actually want to read about a specific movie, good luck. I'm sure the author had some good ideas, and had he been paired with a good development editor who helped him organize the book into a useful format it would have been an excellent resource. As it is, it's nearly useless.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
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