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Of Pilgrims and Fire: When God Shows Up at the Movies
by:Roy M. Anker
Every human being, Roy Anker points out, is a pilgrim searching for a destination that promises meaning and welcome. We seek a glimpse of light or fire pointing the way to a place that soothes the soul. This light often shines most clearly in the stories we love to see on film. In Of Pilgrims and Fire Anker explores some of cinema’s most profound moments...
Every human being, Roy Anker points out, is a pilgrim searching for a destination that promises meaning and welcome. We seek a glimpse of light or fire pointing the way to a place that soothes the soul. This light often shines most clearly in the stories we love to see on film. In Of Pilgrims and Fire Anker explores some of cinema’s most profound moments of pilgrims looking for light. His movie choices are rarely those we might consider “religious,” yet he argues that they may be truer depictions of God’s light because of their lack of overt Christianity. These select films depict the struggles of ordinary people trying to find some measure of light to make sense of the world and of themselves — sometimes running into surprising renditions of what God might look like. Each section begins with a basic filmography of the pictures discussed, including awards and ratings. Anker also provides a preview of each film and suggests what the filmmaker seems to convey. Finally each chapter includes a series of questions to guide personal or group discussion. Like the movies he chooses, Anker avoids the preachy or didactic and strives to make viewing and reflecting both enjoyable and provocative.
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