Of Pilgrims and Fire: When God Shows Up at the Movies

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Sep 28, 2010 - Religion - 249 pages
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In This Illuminating Guidebook, film teacher and critic Roy Anker explores some of cinema's most profound depictions of human beings searching for meaning in life. The films he delves into ¨The Thin Red Line, American Beauty, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, The Apostle, E. Magnolia, and twelve more ¨ are, with few exceptions, not overtly "religious" or "Christian." Yet from the world of secular Hollywood Anker succeeds in drawing together some of the most religiously provocative movies of our time.

Providing synopses, commentary, background information, and both pre-viewing comments and post-viewing discussion questions for each film, Anker ¨ without being preachy or didactic ¨ offers movie buffs profound new insights. Watching this diverse collection anew through Anker's eyes, readers will find these films not only enjoyable but also deeply enlightening.

"Roy Anker again illuminates film's powerful ability to enliven religious life. His earlier work in Catching Light is continued here with more films and further reflections on many of the same films. With lucid writing, helpful questions, and suggestive strategies for religious film viewing, Of Pilgrims and Fire will be a welcome resource to those who seek light in the dark spaces of the theater."-S. Brent Plate author of Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-Creation of the World

"A perfect follow-up to Anker's masterful Catching Light. It recognizes that some movies might dazzle, but only a few seek to show that Light which illumines the darkens of our own lives. In this book Anker introduces twenty such movies to his readers. Here is a book for you to use with a group of friends as you watch great movies together."-Robert K. Johnston coauthor of Finding God in the Movies: 33 Films of Reel Faith

"Of Pilgrims and Fire is an ideal complement to Roy Anker's earlier text, Catching Light-ideal for university classes and adult discussion groups and for general readers who want to sharpen their understanding and appreciation of the religious dimensions of film."-John R. May author of Nourishing Faith through Fiction

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About the author (2010)

Roy M. Anker teaches literature and film at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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