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Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century (Cultural Exegesis) Paperback – August 1, 2008
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From the Back Cover
In Into the Dark, respected film expert Craig Detweiler examines forty-five twenty-first-century films that resonate theologically--from The Lord of the Rings trilogy to Little Miss Sunshine--offering groundbreaking insight into their scriptural connections and theological applications. Detweiler uses the IMDb, the wildly popular Internet Movie Database, to select today's most influential contemporary films. He dissects the theology of everyday life, exploring the work of the Spirit of God in creation and redemption to discuss "general revelation" through cinema and sometimes unlikely filmmakers. Into the Dark opens up lively discussion topics, including anthropology, the problem of evil, sin, interconnectivity, postmodern relationships, ethics, fantasy, and communities in crisis.
"Craig Detweiler is right when he says that film is a source of divine revelation. Into the Dark takes readers on a journey to discover how God is helping us understand our true identity, community, and divine history within popular culture. No Christian scholar, student, or film buff should be without this book."--David Bruce, webmaster, Hollywood Jesus
"Soak a brain in billions of digital bytes of filmic splendor and an equal amount of dynamic theology, awaken it to the 'sudden and miraculous grace' available at the intersection of faith and film, and you've got Craig Detweiler's tour de force. A brilliant, timely, and useful piece of work from the only brain that could have produced it!"--Dick Staub, author, The Culturally Savvy Christian and Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters, and host of The Kindling's Muse
"Craig Detweiler provides a refreshingly open-minded engagement with Hollywood, insisting on an integrative approach to general revelation wherein the cinematic 'good, true, and beautiful' are broadly defined and broadly discovered. It is uncommon to hear Christians speak of mass entertainment as 'a form of Mass, a common grace,' as Detweiler does, but such a perspective is sorely needed and appropriately provocative."--Brett McCracken, film critic for Christianity Today and Relevant
About the Author
More About the Author
Craig's cultural commentary has appeared on ABC's Nightline, CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, NPR, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. As a filmmaker, his documentaries build bridges across cultures from the comedic Purple State of Mind to (un)Common Sounds: Peace Through Music. He blogs as 'Doc Hollywood' for Patheos.com and is @craigdetweiler on Twitter.
Top Customer Reviews
Into the Dark is the journey of films through some of the darkest hours in order to show the brightest of grace. The chapters poignantly scribe the picture of a holistic faith seen in contrast with a dynamic culture. To speak personally, the book acted as an awakening towards the movies I could not reconcile. It was my own journey through the theater in hopes of finding others - Evangelicals even - sitting next to me, ready to commence The Great Discussion with two ears, one mouth and an eternal sense of grace in sight.
I know this is a very hard review, and I wanted to like the book, but it was nearly unreadable.
I found Paul Schrader's description of the formation of a canon as a story very fascinating: "To understand the canon is to understand its narrative. Art is a narrative. Life is a narrative. The universe is a narrative. To understand the universe is to understand its history. Each and every thing is part of a story -- beginning, middle, and end." The thing that resonates in my heart as an artist is how to lead the viewer to the divine story, as referred by Jurgen Moltmann. How can I ask the right questions so the viewer is prompted to reflect and somehow have a general revelation from God? Moltmann said, "Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum acknowledged the power and importance of a film canon as an educational tool. It should start arguments about the art of cinema, causing us to reflect on what matters and why." As an educator and pastor, I am always seeking ways to have my students dig deeper and ask important and meaningful questions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Super helpful for our church's upcoming Film Festival. Great read.Published 6 months ago by Trish Nelson
Into the Dark is a careful reflection on the power of film and its relation to the things that really matter in life. Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by stlhobbit
This book was not at all what I thought it would be. I expected a resource that would be useful in breaking down movies and sharing them with youth at weekly meetings and events. Read morePublished on September 15, 2012 by youthsslc
Detweiler blogs about working toward understanding between religious and secular, postmodern culture. Read more
Craig Detweiler's Into the Dark is an excellent resource and appropriate supplement for readers of Johnston's Reel Spirituality (or, vice-versa). Read morePublished on May 22, 2009 by William Kilgore
In many ways, the four star rating system of film critics have killed the film goer's experience. We have slowly dismantled the relationship between the viewer and the film on the... Read morePublished on March 8, 2009 by Robert Davidson
Having been born in the mid-seventies, I cannot relate to having my cinematic interest piqued by the likes of Hornet's Nest or Raging Bull. Read morePublished on February 9, 2009 by J Anthony G
Reading Craig Detweiler's Into the Dark was like a good meal for me. I ate it, drank it in, and savored every bit of it. Read morePublished on February 7, 2009 by Heather Patterson Meyer