Useless Beauty: Ecclesiastes through the Lens of Contemporary Film

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Baker Academic, 2004 - Performing Arts - 208 pages
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How should Christians relate to the difficult and contradictory messages of modern movies? In Useless Beauty, Robert K. Johnston presents the bold position that films can be our "eyeglasses and hearing aids" in understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes. Taking up movies such as American Beauty, Magnolia, and About Schmidt, he addresses such biblical issues as life and death, chance and choice, loneliness and connection, and God's presence and absence to deepen our understanding of life's beauty amid its confusion and pain. Christian filmgoers, pastors, and youth leaders will find Johnston's book a valuable source of insight into the relationship between Christianity and popular culture.
 

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Contents

Akira Kurosawa
35
Alan Ball and American Beauty
57
Paul Thomas Anderson
73
Tom Tykwer and Run Lola Run
93
Marc Forster and Monsters
113
Can God Be in This? M Night Shyamalan
127
Alexander Payne Election
147
Let the Preacher
169
Ecclesiastes History of Interpretation
179
Movies Cited
201
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About the author (2004)

Robert K. Johnston (Ph.D., Duke University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of over twelve books, including Reel Spirituality and Finding God in the Movies. He served as dean at North Park Theological Seminary for eleven years and is currently president of the American Theological Society.

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