Baylor Honors College Presents Christian Film Critic

Oct. 9, 2008

by Lillyan Baker, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Dr. Thomas S. Hibbs, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture and dean of the Honors College at Baylor Thomas HibbsUniversity, will present "Seeking With Groans: A Christian Approach to Contemporary Film and Culture" at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, in the reading room of Alexander Hall on the Baylor campus. The lecture is part of the annual dean's film lecture in the Honors Residential College lecture series.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature Hibbs discussing his opinion on the culture of Christians who watch movies. He will analyze an approach to film and culture based on the opinions of Blaise Pascal, a 17th century religious philosopher, who described human life as a "quest for illumination in the midst of darkness" and said that he could commend only "those who seek with groans." Hibbs will examine three contemporary films, including "The Children of Men," "The Orphanage" and "The Dark Knight."

"Mirroring the wider culture, Christian viewers of film often adopt one of two positions: Either they see film as innocuous entertainment or they see Hollywood as a toxic source of cultural decline," Hibbs said. "Still, others would promote only those films that offer squeaky-clean stories with tidy, happy endings."

In addition to traveling around the world speaking at universities, high schools and radio shows, Hibbs has written several books, including Dialectic and Narrative in Aquinas: An Interpretation of the Summa Contra Gentiles; Aquinas, Ethics, and the Philosophy of Religion: Metaphysics and Practice; Arts of Darkness: American Noir and The Lost Code of Redemption; and a book on popular culture, Shows About Nothing.

Hibbs does not limit his Christian film ethics only to speaking events. He has had numerous articles featured in various publications, including Books and Culture, Christianity Today, First Things, New Atlantis, The Dallas Morning News, The National Review, The Weekly Standard and The Chronicle of Higher Education, which featured a study Hibbs conducted over the ethical allegations of the films of the Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski.

Hibbs taught at Boston College for 13 years after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Dallas and his doctorate at University of Notre Dame. At Baylor, Hibbs oversees the honors program, the Great Texts major and the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC).

For more information about this lecture, visit the Honors College Lecture Series website.

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