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Master's of Sacred Arts, Individual Courses

Christian Humanism in Contemporary Cinema


This course teaches students to discern how film narratives achieve their effects on audiences and equips students to find the subtext in all aspects of a film. In this way, students are taught how to recognize the theological virtues in six Hollywood films.

Christian Humanism in Contemporary Cinema 







In this course, the student will learn to look at the craft of the filmmaker and see how he uses methods of filming, editing, music, even the color combinations on the set to reinforce the moods and themes of the narrative of film. These are powerful but subtle effects that Christian filmmakers should be aware of if they wish to create films that reflect a Christian worldview (especially if not overtly Christian in theme) that will connect with a mass audience. Through theological texts and close "readings" of six films, students will deepen their understanding of the theological virtues -- faith, hope, and charity (two films per virtue) and how a film, might subtly communicates these through a mass culture. Students will learn terms and concepts for interpreting all aspects of a cinematic story and explicating the thematic content of films such as Pixar's WALLeThe Shawshank RedemptionGood Will Hunting, and more.


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Pontifex University Course: Christian Humanism in Contemporary Cinema-3 Payments of $100/month

Here is the class outline:

1. Introduction

2. Lesson 1

WALL-E and Charity

3. Lesson 2

The Shawshank Redemption and Hope

4. Lesson 3

Good Will Hunting and Faith

5. Lesson 4

The Book of Eli and Faith

6. Lesson 5

Silver Linings Playbook and Hope

7. Lesson 6

Casablanca and Charity

8. Lesson 7

Final Project: Film Analysis

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