Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2007
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
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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.
David Crumm and ReadTheSpirit.com
His chapters include titles like, "The Church and the Christian: What Does It Mean to Be a Believer in Contemporary America?"
What's best about this book is that it's not limited in its scope to "religious movies" or even to films that would be the "usual suspects" for congregational study groups to view and discuss.
He talks about the controversial drama about prejudice, "Crash," for example. And movies like "Spiderman," "Philadelphia Story," "Pulp Fiction" and "Ground Hog Day." That lineup alone suggests the broad scope of Garrett's spiritual connections in this slim paperback.
Located in: Austin, TX
Submitted: June 18, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a writer, teacher, preacher, and conference and retreat leader. I teach full time at Baylor University, where I am Professor of English, and I am writer in residence at the Episcopal seminary in Austin, where I help future and present pastors and priests learn to communicate effectively. I recently completed an M.Div. and serve as a lay preacher at St. David's Episcopal Church in Austin. I have two boys, Jake and Chandler, love making music, the outdoors, watching movies, and spending time with my family.
What was your motivation behind this project? A lot of books have been written on faith and film, too many of them with really superficial treatments of one or the other--or both. I wanted to take a serious theological look at the stories and characters in American film so that readers could discern the holy waiting in even some films they might dismiss.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? The Gospel according to Hollywood shows us what popular film can teach about God, sin, redemption, and the Church. I hope people will discover (or confirm) the importance of mining the culture in a discerning way for Gospel messages, and be exposed to important Christian thought and doctrine from the Church Fathers to the present.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? In writing this book, I was drawn into deep theological research--Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and many of the early Christian thinkers, and Paul Tillich, H. Richard Niebuhr, Rowan Williams, and other contemporary theologians flavored the work. I was most inspired by the films themselves, and found myself coming back over and over again to It's a Wonderful Life, Pulp Fiction, Schindler's List, and other movies.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: This book takes things I've been learning while writing The Gospel Reloaded (with Chris Seay) and Holy Superheroes and ties them all up in a nice package. This is a book I'm very proud of, and I felt God's inspiration as I worked on the challenging concepts and ideas to make them understandable to any reader.