October 4, 2010 / Perspective
Brett McCracken. Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010. 255 …
May 6, 2015
Recently, The Other Journal was invited to attend the Sundance Film Festival with Into the Noise, a nonprofit that travels to large festivals like Sundance to explore the cultural and spiritual stories that are being shared by our world’s most creative thinkers and creators. Their goal is to approach each festival communally, thoughtfully, and theologically, to venture into the noise with intentionality and discernment.
As we were reminded at Sundance, film can teach us things about the exterior world and about ourselves, and we experience these lessons in a deeply moving, highly affective manner. At its best, film functions as revelation, shaping the very trajectories of our lives, selves, and world. The essays in this short issue are by writers who attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, as part of Into the Noise, and each essay is therefore shaped by both the transformative mysticism of contemporary film and the conversations and open dialogue we shared following those films. This issue also represents a renewed effort by The Other Journal to increase our engagement with film in the theology section.
The experience of film’s disruption, as we hope you will come to understand it, is nothing short of epiphany. Alongside Into the Noise, we at The Other Journal are seeking to discover what it might mean to engage film theologically. How might such a form of engagement further develop our theologies? And how might these modern spiritual texts being theologizing themselves? This special issue aims to investigate those questions, both theoretically and through engagement with the particular films we experienced at Sundance. The writers will interrogate the nature of film as a disruption, considering the way in which popular opinion of film is formed and spreads, as well as the particular modes of theological engagement at work in specific films. Each Wednesday for the next five weeks, we invite you to venture with us into this space; we invite you into the noise.
Zachary Thomas Settle
Zachary Thomas Settle is currently a PhD student in the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt, where he is working in the areas of theology and economy. He is the theology editor for The Other Journal, and he has written for numerous publications, including the Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory and The Other Journal. He is also the coeditor of Dreams, Doubt and Dread: The Spiritual in Film.