News and Events
Professor Craig Detweiler Hosts Discussion of Spirituality and Cinema
Emmanuel Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., will sponsor a conversation titled “Into the Dark: Spirituality and the Cinema” presented by Pepperdine director of the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture; associate professor of communication; and filmmaker Craig Detweiler Sunday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.
"From fantasies like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to the upcoming Life of Pi, the best of recent cinema is rooted in ultimate questions: who am I, what is my purpose, how much sacrifice is required to fulfill my calling?" explains Detweiler. "I look forward to discussing the most powerful films with our Pepperdine's friends and neighbors in the Conejo Valley."
The presentation will look at a range of films from epic movies such as Gladiator to the awesome animation of Pixar to uncover how people find inspiration at the movies. Detweiler will also look at how complex films like The Dark Knight and Inception connect to our most enduring questions.
Detweiler's talk is based upon his book, Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century, which has been been described by Publishers Weekly as "One of the more successful and substantial theological interpretations of contemporary movies, mining film for spiritual meaning."
They continue, "[He] brings his theological expertise to bear on such recent works 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."
Detweiler directs the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine. His books include Into the Dark, which searches for the sacred amidst the top-ranked films on the Internet Movie Database, Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God, and the brand new, Don't Stop Believin': Religion and Pop Culture from Ben Hur to Zombies. Craig's cultural commentary has been featured on ABC's Nightline, CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, and NPR and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
For more information, contact Craig Detweiler.