Looking for God in Popular Culture
"This is absolutely the best series now out to help you explore the dimensions of film and its communication power in our world today. With the accompanying book, study guide that comes with the videos, and the additional website resources available, this is a must package for any serious teaching experience that wants to dig into the popular culture from a spiritual perspective."
Dave Anderson, Director Compass Arts Film Academy
three-part video series began as one component of a new course by the Student
Life Division at Calvin College designed to introduce first-year students to the
idea of cultural discernment. Popular culture is one of the most influential forces
in contemporary society. While
most students at Christian liberal arts colleges spend a good amount of time watching
movies and television programs or listening to music, they do not necessarily
engage popular art and culture as Christians. This is also true of adults who
harbor Christian convictions and also consume their share of the mainstream media.
While they think their faith should matter when it comes to popular art, in the
absence of distinctly Christian critical tools, many simply defer to vague personal
tastes and preferences. For some, "Christian" means simply the absence
of depictions of sex, violence or profanity. This video series employs a different
approach. The central question it addresses is: How might a Christian faith perspective
shape our appreciation and evaluation of popular artworks?
When the videos were completed, we decided to make the series, along with a study guide, available to other colleges, schools, churches and campus ministries for use in college and high school courses, Sunday school classes, and various study groups. The purpose is to provide an additional resource for Christians who are searching for a faith-based criticism of the popular arts and culture.
These videos are closely related to the book in content and are intended to bring the key ideas and themes of Eyes Wide Open to life visually by featuring clips from over 120 movies, TV programs and music videos for analysis. These are educational videos that are loaded with ideas and information. They are meant to be engaging while also generating substantive discourse. Viewing these videos in conjunction with a reading of the book will deepen and enliven your discussion. Like the companion book, the video series is grounded in Christian principles and offers an informed and fascinating approach to popular art and culture.
- Episode 1: Popular Art and Culture (45 min)
- Episode 2: A Christian Cultural Landscape (35 min.)
- Episode 3: The Cultural Landscape of Hollywood (55 min.)
don't know anybody who has more insight, wisdom and balance about pop culture
than Dr. Romanowski. If you've read his books, you already know that. Now, you
can not only read his words
you can experience and see for yourself. In the
Eyes Wide Open videos the impact is astoundingly clear and powerful. This is a
major teaching tool for Christians as they struggle to understand and speak to
popular culture. What a gift to the church!
Steve Brown, president of KeyLife Network and professor, Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando
Bill Romanowski has translated his critical study of popular culture, Eyes Wide Open, into a provocative spectacle and visual feast. What he told his readers in his best-selling book, he now shows with panache. Lavishly illustrated with images from popular Hollywood films and music videos, his three-part video series applies orthodox Christian doctrine to the influential images of Hollywood. With keenly astute analyses, Romanowski exposes the innards of the white sepulchers of film to show their impact, potential and dangers in regard to religion, violence and, of course, sex. Romanowski will help young people read the images we so blithely consume, and will, simultaneously enable us all to discover the significant place our Christian faith has in interpreting the cultural landscape.
Terry Lindvall, Distinguished Chair of Visual Communication and Professor of Film at Regent University
2002 Gold Medallion Book Award Winners
Eyes Wide Open, Brazos Press
Looking for God in Pop Culture
www.calvin.edu/news/releases/2000_01/eyes.htmThe Spark, Fall 2001 issue
www.calvin.edu/publications/spark/fall01/romanowski.htmDr. William D. Romanowski's Homepage
Bio, publications, favorite films