Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Theology at the Theater: Watching Film as a Communal Spiritual Discipline – Part 6

I’m really excited about Sundance this year (heading there Monday), which is one of the reasons I am doing this series on Theology at the Theater. The average American watches over 40 films a year, so it is important that we develop a solid theology at the theater. If you are just joining this series, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

Good filmmakers are the poets and prophets of our day, for they freshly awaken our imaginations through life shaping stories. The tens of thousands of hours that are invested in creating films have the potential to touch people’s lives in ways that reshape their desires and enable them to be fully human. Films are powerful. But if we are going to capture the full power of films, we need to finds ways in which film watching becomes a communal spiritual discipline. One such way is through cinematographeum divina. But there are other ways to do this as well. The Windrider Forum that takes place during the Sundance festival is another way to get the maximum benefit from Sundance. Through group discussions, interviews and many conversations, all are encouraged to be fully present at each of the films. This increases awareness allows us to pay attention to both the details and the big picture. The group discussions each morning allow us to process what God is showing each of us, making the encounter with the films even richer.

I hope that this series encourages you to watch film as a communal spiritual discipline. For we are all theologians, and we can do theology everywhere, including the theater.

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