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Faith and Film

Faith and Film

2014 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, October 23-Saturday, October 25

Over the past century, cinema has become the defining medium of Western culture, occupying the role that theater and the novel played in earlier generations. Recent advances in communication technologies allow films to reach global audiences on a vast and previously unimaginable scale.

Christian religious themes have been critically important to film from the earliest days. The cinema has produced vast biblical epics and intimate spiritual studies, sensitive biographical explorations and provocative revisions of scripture, and many sentimental expressions of popular piety. Questions of faith are hardly confined to films that are explicitly religious; rather, these themes permeate all genres of film, often in subtle and unexpected ways.

Cinema represents a vast resource for religious exploration and debate. Film, after all, is a medium appreciated, even loved, by people who would not normally be open to religious messages. And, although the scholarly study of film is a rich field, issues of faith are still underplayed. All too often, both secular-minded critics and Christian viewers routinely miss the varieties of ways—good and bad—in which faith appears in film.

The 2014 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Faith and Film, invites exploration of the place of Christian faith in cinema, past and present.

Featured presenters include:

  • Christopher B. Barnett, theology and the arts, Villanova University
  • Bruce Beresford, award-winning director of such films as Breaker Morant, Tender Mercies, and Driving Miss Daisy
  • Matt Cardin, author, scholar, blogger on religion and horror at The Teeming Brain
  • Greg Garrett, professor, novelist, and memoirist, Baylor University
  • Thomas S. Hibbs, professor of ethics and culture and film critic, Baylor University
  • Philip Jenkins, historian and cultural commentator, Baylor University
  • Joseph Kickasola, film theory, religion and media, and film production, Baylor University
  • Frederica Mathewes-Green, author and commentator on spirituality and public life
  • John Morehead, scholar of religion and pop culture at TheoFantastique.com and Cinefantastique Online
  • Grant Nieporte, screenwriter for television and the film Seven Pounds
  • Mark W. Roche, German, literature, intellectual history, philosophy, and film, University of Notre Dame
  • William Romanowski, professor of communication arts and sciences, Calvin College
  • Terry Teachout, drama critic for The Wall Street Journal, playwright, commentator, and blogger
  • Alissa Wilkinson, English and humanities at The King's College and film critic for Christianity Today Movies
  • John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture and editor-at-large for Christianity Today