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Celluloid SermonsThe Emergence of the Christian Film Industry, 1930-1986$
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Terry Lindvall and Andrew Quicke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814753248

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814753248.001.0001

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God Talks

God Talks

(p.1) 1 God Talks
Celluloid Sermons

Terry Lindvall

Andrew Quicke

NYU Press

This chapter talks about how moving pictures have become an evangelistic complement for many churches. For Protestant fundamentalists and conservatives, the films preach repentance and conversion. For the more liberal groups, films sought to promote social justice and to bring a global consciousness to American congregations. Christian involvement in the industry would culminate in creative artists, directors, and producers like Scott Derrickson, Tom Schatz, Ken Wales, and Ralph Winter contributing their talents directly to Hollywood. Religious leaders recognized the visceral impact of film and envisioned the medium as a means to develop character—if film could be used for ill, it could also promote religious devotion. Such a viewpoint reflects the changing attitudes toward moving pictures, with more denominations actively investigating how they might appropriate the media for religious purposes.

Keywords:   church films, Protestant fundamentalists, liberal groups, American congregations, Christian film industry, religious media

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