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Sanctuary Cinema: Origins of the Christian Film Industry

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0814752104
ISBN-10: 0814752101
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Comment: Text is in good condition but several pages are highlighted in the introduction only. Also a binding error so the sideboards are not even on the text. Reflected in the pricing. Good for a study copy.
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Editorial Reviews


“Thoroughly researched and free of jargon, this book fills the gap in film history.“

“Lindvall provides his readers with the largely untold story of the beginning decades of the Christian film industry. Now, almost a hundred years later, message movies with a religious core are re-emerging. To understand their current pitfalls and promise, Sanctuary Cinema is important reading. It’s also great fun!“
-Robert K. Johnston,Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary, and author of Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue

“Provides a masterful and fascinating survey of the history of the Christian silent film industry and its demise.“
-John Lyden,author of Film as Religion: Myths, Morals, and Rituals

“Lindvall offers a history of the Protestant Church’s role in making and promoting Christian movies, from the very beginning of the industry (circa 1895) through the end of the silent era. . . . This well-researched book is recommended for large academic and theology collection.“
-Library Journal XPress

“It is an engaging story of cooperation, conflict and critique, one that contributes significantly to contemporary studies of religion, popular culture, and the media.“
-Journal of the American Academy of Religion

“Lindvall’s book provides a wonderful and wonderfully readable history of this important period. Issues that churches and those interested in communication, culture, and religion wrestle with today turn out to have appeared almost 100 years ago. Anyone interested in film, religion, theology, and culture should read this book.“
-Paul A. Soukup,S.J., Santa Clara University

About the Author

Terry Lindvall is C. S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. Previously he taught at Duke University's Divinity School and was the Walter Mason Fellow of Religious Studies at The College of William and Mary. He is the former president of Regent University, where he was professor of film and communication and the arts and held the Distinguished Chair of Visual Communication. He is the author of Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis; The Mother of All Laughter: Sarah and the Genesis of Comedy; and The Silents of God: Selected Issues and Documents in Silent American Film and Religion, 1908-1926, among other works.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (February 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814752101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814752104
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,883,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The first two chapters of this extremely worthwhile book have more to say about the Western World's relationship to imagery than any other 50 books put together. I've read a lot of trade journals from the early days of film, and the constant theme is one of tension between powers of 'morality' and the film theater. In trade journals such as MOTOGRAPHY, MOTION PICTURE, etc. from the very early days of film (1898-1917), every single issue contains admonitions and advice on dealing with physical censorship by governmental bodies, attacks by religious groups, and a constant emphasis on 'morally uplifting content'. This book connects the two polarities: the controlling morality of religious/civic bodies, and the free enterprise of filmmakers which endlessly resulted in sensational subject material to draw the largest paying audiences.
The relationship between moral guardians and the freewheeling showmanship of filmmakers has been... queasy at best.
Don't be fooled or put off by the emphasis put on this book by reviewers that it's only about 'Xtian film'; this is a necessary work to understand anything about film as it exists in the US.
This is a great piece of work, and it's not just about Xtian Film: it's about the role of film, and imagery, in Western philosophy and theology.
Top. Notch. Anyone with an interest in visual communications really should read this book, and likely, own it.
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