Finding St. Paul in Film (Paperback)
  • Finding St. Paul in Film (Paperback)
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Finding St. Paul in Film (Paperback)

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Paperback 224 Pages / Published: 01/01/2006
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Unlike Jesus, Paul has not appeared often in the movies, either as a leading man or as a part of the supporting cast. "In Finding Saint Paul in the Movies", Walsh finds a Paul who is a stranger to our questions and ideologies. As Paul does not appear often in film, the films that the book brings into dialogue with Paul have only metaphorical connections with the Paul of Christian and academic discourse. The films relate to Paul only as Walsh's interpretations of the films and of Paul render Paul the films' precursor. Walsh's book works more abstractly. It has four major topics distributed in an equal number of chapters: Paul's concept of grace (the inclusion of the Gentiles); Paul's apocalyptic visions and worldview; Paul's struggles with theodicy and community formation; and Paul's "apostolic" or "canonical" status. He examines movies such as "Tender Mercies", "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", "Places in the Heart", "Donnie Darko", "Witness", "The Truman Show", "Strange Days", "Being John Malkovich", "Fargo", "Crimes and Misdemeanours", and "The Apostle".

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780567028501
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 367 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Mention -Theology Digest, Summer 2006
"Walsh concentrates not on these rare explicit film but instead on a few well-known films, that, in his view, have motifs or messages related to the characteristic concerns of Paul's theology... part of the author's purpose is to expose how challenging and difficult the 'real' Paul is for the modern sensibilities." -The Bible Today, April/May 2006
Mention in Religion and the Arts, Vol. 13, 2009.
Mention --Theology Digest, Summer 2006
Movie sequels often disappoint, but Walsh s sequel ably continues the sort of experiment that he began in Reading the Gospels in the Dark. Of course, Paul movies and Paul figures are harder to find than their Jesus counterparts, but Walsh not only finds Paul in relation to a wide array of movies, but he does so with insight and originality. Anyone with interests in Paul, Christianity, or popular culture will want to read this book. George Aichele, Adrian College, author of The Control of Biblical Meaning: Canon as Semiotic Mechanism and co-author of Screening Scripture: Intertextual Connections Between Scripture and Film--George Aichele
Richard Walsh s latest contribution to Religion and Film Studies, Finding St. Paul in Film, challenges the reader to watch Paul through the movies, or perhaps to watch the movies through Paul. The many Pauls of Christian theology and discourse arise through films in surprising, if not revelatory ways. So, Paul allows us to better understand grace in Tender Mercies and other theological concepts in movies like The Apostle and A Beautiful Mind. Walsh s creative viewfinder (Paul) projects a new image for some of our best loved films. Conrad Ostwalt, author of Secular Steeples: Popular Culture and the Religious Imagination--Conrad Ostwalt
Mention Theology Digest, Summer 2006
Finding St. Paul in Film reads contemporary movies alongside the values expressed in Paul s letters to argue that Paul s authoritarian intransigence, apocalyptic vision, and rejection of this world are dangerous in the contemporary world. Walsh shows that Christian interpreters multiple domesticated Pauls conceal the psychotic revolutionary Paul of his letters. Saving Paul is not Walsh s agenda, but his critical appraisal of appropriated Pauls should not be ignored. This responsible, scholarly, controversial, and readable book addresses crucial issues of our time. No one should miss it. Margaret R. Miles, Emerita Professor of historical theology, Graduate Theological Union; author of Seeing and Believing: Religion and Values in the Movies--Margaret R. Miles
Richard Walsh skillfully uses his expansive knowledge of film to engage his readers with his even more expansive knowledge of Pauline studies. Walsh s use of film provocatively challenges readers to consider scripture s multiple Pauls in a way that critically disrupts easy identification with the ideological justifications accomplished in his name. Finding St. Paul in Film offers a nuanced critique of Paul in ways that are imminently accessible to students and scholars alike. Erin Runions Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Pomona College

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