We announce a call for papers for the Baylor Symposium on Faith & Culture, co-sponsored by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion. For more information, visit the conference website here.
Over the past century, cinema has become the defining medium of Western culture, occupying the role that theater and the novel played in earlier generations. Recent advances in communication technologies allow films to reach global audiences on a vast and previously unimaginable scale.
Christian religious themes have been critically important to film from the earliest days. The cinema has produced vast biblical epics and intimate spiritual studies, sensitive biographical explorations and provocative revisions of Scripture, and many sentimental expressions of popular piety. Questions of faith are hardly confined to films that are explicitly religious; rather, these themes permeate all genres of film, often in subtle and unexpected ways.
Cinema represents a vast resource for religious exploration and debate. Film, after all, is a medium appreciated, even loved, by people who would not normally be open to religious messages. And, although the scholarly study of film is a rich field, issues of faith are still underplayed. All too often, both secular-minded critics and Christian viewers routinely miss the varieties of ways—good and bad—in which faith appears in film.
The 2014 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Faith and Film, invites exploration of the place of Christian faith in cinema, past and present. Investigations need not be limited to explicitly religious works, or even films with overtly religious themes. Presentations are welcome that examine the diversity of expressions of faith and its questions across genres and in both English-language and international works. This is not a forum for scholars of film only; we seek reflection from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives. Presentation proposals are welcome from specialists in film, including directors, screenwriters, and actors, as well as those in communications, philosophy, theology, biblical studies, foreign language studies, political science, literature, the arts, sociology, psychology, business, and other cross-disciplinary areas.
Proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, responses to current books, and film shorts may be submitted via the online form at www.baylor.edu/ifl/cfp. Please share news of this announcement with your colleagues via e-mail and social media. We hope to see you at Faith and Film in the fall.
Posted by Joe Creech