Faith and Film at the Palace Theater (Informal Class for the Community)

Faith and Film at the Historic Georgetown Palace Theater

Three years after being shut down due to the pandemic, Cinema & Religion returns as Faith and Film, hosted at The Palace Theater* on the historic square in Georgetown, Texas. The series is split in two, meeting four Sundays in July and four in October.

Now in its eighth season, this informal class is produced by film scholar Dr. Philip J. Hohle, an adjunct professor of Mass Media at Mary Hardin-Baylor University. A member of the prestigious Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image (SCSMI), Hohle has authored several books and articles on viewer responses to movies.

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 eight-week class is funded through a grant by Zion Lutheran Church and School of Walburg, 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. Faith and Film is designed for anyone who wants to develop a higher awareness or appreciation for the inspirational power of movies.

The course will feature free screenings of selected films at The Palace each evening. Every movie is followed by an open discussion led by Hohle and other area scholars and theologians. “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 resumes Oct. 8 through 29 at The Palace. Registration is open for the July class. (Link will take you to Zion Lutheran events page.)

REGISTER HERE. (Registration for October series opens Sept. 12)

For more information, email or visit the frequently asked questions page.

*The Faith and Film Informal Class is a production of Parabolic Media, made possible through grants from Zion Lutheran Church and School and other patrons. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, governing board, or patrons of The Georgetown Palace Theater.

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