2020 Cinema and Religion

2020 Cinema & Religion Series Marks Seventh Season

Classic movie stars on screen seeming to argue about religion.

Thanks to our dedicated patrons and participants, the Cinema & Religion will again be offered this Spring on Monday nights at the Moviehouse & Eatery in the Trails of 620 shopping center on RR620. The series is an informal class for the community offered in conjunction with a college course at Concordia University.

Now in its seventh season, this informal class is produced by film scholars Dr. Philip J. Hohle and Dr. Jake Youmans. Hohle is a professor of Mass Media at Mary Hardin-Baylor University. A member of the prestigious Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image, Hohle has authored two books on viewer responses to movies. Youmans is a professor of religious studies at Concordia University Texas. He also has published works on the religious implications found in popular films.

In The Filmmaker's Prayer: Cinema & Religion, Hohle argues that virtually all movies project a surprising degree of religiosity. “Most good films subtly express a certain worldview, a statement about the human condition—Who am I? Am I a good person? What is my redeeming purpose in life? Certainly, those are some of the fundamental questions of religion, and many movies invite an examination from that perspective. If we don’t, we miss some profound ideas and lessons.” Noted Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Seminary, Dr. Robert Johnson has stated that the cinema’s storytellers have become the new priests of our culture. As such, the movie theater has become another great competitor for the church because great movies inspire people in profound ways.

The ten-week class is sponsored by Parabolic Media and Concordia University Texas. The course concept is similar in approach to an ESL class for non-native speakers of English, but in this case, it is entertainment as a second language. This series was designed to help viewers develop a higher sense of media literacy and fluency in interpreting the films they see. Similarly, Cinema & Religion is designed for anyone who wants to develop a higher awareness or appreciation for the inspirational power of movies.

A reduced registration fee of $50 includes a choice of Youman's and Hohle's books, including The Filmmaker's Prayer, which was written as support for this course. The course will feature ten free screenings of selected films at the Moviehouse each week. Every movie is followed by an open discussion led by Hohle and Youmans. “There is no better setting to truly consider the richness of the film narrative than in a comfortable movie theater with an audience,” Hohle said. “While our respondents primarily speak through the lens of Christianity, we really learn from each other as we take the time afterward to unpack and share the personal religious experience the film provides for each of us.”

The series begins on February 3 and runs through April 13 (no class on March 9). REGISTER BELOW NOW BEFORE THE CLASS IS FILLED.

For more information, email philip@parabolicmedia.com or visit the frequently asked questions page.

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