This new edition of a bestselling textbook has been substantially rewritten, mentions two hundred additional movies, and offers in-depth discussion of eight recent popular films, including March of the Penguins, Magnolia, and Million Dollar Baby . It encourages readers to ponder movie themes that permeate our culture as well as motion pictures that have demonstrated power to shape our perceptions of everything from relationships and careers to good and evil.
In addition, the second edition adds two new chapters—one on the role of music and image for understanding a film's power and meaning and one that helps viewers wrestle with ethical issues raised in film-viewing experiences. Beyond exploring "why" Christians should be involved with film, the second edition now offers a sustained discussion of "how" they might best do this.
Whether it be the human condition, the nature of grace or the prejudice in our own hearts, the cinema can be an invaluable asset to the heart and mind of the believer. Johnston teaches fans and skeptics alike how to cultivate a well-informed (both culturally and theologically) approach to this wellspring of human experience.
—John Thompson, CCM
Considering the thousands of films shown every year, and the vast crowds who rush to see them, it is remarkable that so little sustained Christian attention has been paid to the world of the 'big screen.' Films can undoubtedly shape and change our fundamental attitudes and beliefs. Here, at last, is an attempt to take that with theological seriousness. Reel Spirituality will not only help us develop a Christian wisdom about film; in turn, it will also make us ask searching questions about the Christian faith and the way we express it. Throughout, the book is accessible and engaging. I commend it most warmly.
—Jeremy Begbie, University of St. Andrews; Ridley Hall, University of Cambridge