Cinema and Religion at The Moviehouse & Eatery (Spring ’16)

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Informal Class for the Community Returns for Third Season: Cinema and Religion at The Moviehouse & Eatery

Austin, Texas— Concordia University Texas (CTX) will again offer the informal course Cinema and Religion to the public on Monday nights beginning January 25. The series takes place weekly at The Moviehouse and Eatery in The Trails at 620 Shopping Center across from the university. The course objectives are designed to help people develop skills in discovering and analyzing religious themes in popular movies. The non-credit course is free and open to members of the public who are invited to develop media literacy as co-learners alongside traditional college students.

The course is built around 12 specific themes repeatedly found in our culture’s popular cinematic narratives. Each week the class will examine a different film selected specifically as an outstanding artifact where profound religious questions are raised in the story. CTX professors Dr. Jake Youmans and Dr. Philip Hohle will facilitate the discussion of each film’s theme and questions. Other film and religion experts from the Austin area are also slated to contribute. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. and will end after a short discussion following the examination of each night’s film.

The experience will equip film audiences to explore questions concerning the character of God, the search for transcendence, the struggle between revenge and forgiveness and the means of redemption as they are found encoded within these narratives. For the upcoming series, these themes are found in a wide range of popular movie titles, including Stand by Me and Her. The series will include exploration of relatively unexamined films such as The One I Love as well as those already universally recognized for having rich religious themes like The Matrix and Noah. Other films currently tabbed for examination include The Lego Movie, The Fifth Element, Shallow Hal, American Beauty, Kumaré, Whiplash, and Black Swan.

For the public, the course will begin January 25 and will run every Monday through April 18 at the Moviehouse & Eatery. A special event planned for the Monday during the South By Southwest festival in mid-March, which is during the university’s spring break. To register for any or all of these class sessions do not contact The Moviehouse & Eatery directly. Instead, simply email professor Philip Hohle at cinema@concordia.edu to register for the free course and to reserve a seat. Community learners have no assignments or attendance requirements. No college credit is awarded for the informal course.

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