Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture Will Explore Faith and Film

Oct. 16, 2014

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Oct. 16, 2014) -- "Faith and Film" will be the theme of the 2014 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture. Hosted by the Institute for Faith and Learning and the Institute for Studies of Religion, the conference will take place Thursday, Oct. 23, through Saturday, Oct. 25.

The symposium, featuring free film screenings and more than 130 presentations from screenwriters, film directors and scholars across the academic disciplines, will explore the prominence of faith as a cinema theme.

“Because film has become in many ways what the novel was for previous generations, it shapes contemporary theological imaginations in powerful ways. For good or ill, it forms our understanding of the Divine, sin, grace, redemption and forgiveness,” said Darin H. Davis, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Faith and Learning and assistant professor of Christian philosophy and ethics in Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. “Our symposium seeks to explore how this is so while showcasing some extraordinary examples of film that challenge and uplift, often in subtle and unexpected ways.”

Featured presenters include award-winning director Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant, Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy); author and commentator Frederica Mathewes-Green; Books and Culture editor John Wilson; and The Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout.

“Given the central importance of film and cinema in modern culture, it’s difficult to think of a more important issue in the presentation and discussion of matters of religion and faith,” said Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History and co-director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion. “My own perspective is that we live today in a golden age of religious filmmaking. The symposium should be provocative and incredibly rewarding.”

Symposium sessions will be held at the Bill Daniel Student Center at the corner of South Fifth Street and MP Daniel Esplanade. The symposium also will feature free screenings every evening at the historic First Baptist Church of Waco, 500 Webster Ave. Shuttles to and from campus will be available.

Films to be screened will include The Decalogue at 7 p.m. Oct. 23, Ostrov (The Island) at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 and Tender Mercies at 7 p.m. Oct. 25.

Regular registration for the symposium is $195. Student registration is $85. Both registrations permit entry to all conference events, including conference meals. Baylor faculty, staff and students may attend all activities except the meals for free. The Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, directed by Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning since 2007, is the largest annual academic conference held at Baylor and one of the premier Christian academic conferences in North America.

To learn more, call (254) 710-4805 or email

For a schedule or to register, visit

by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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