God's Hollywood: Movies about spirituality         SW 4150-03    


The Course Syllabus is at www.mtsu.edu/~socwork/frost.   Handouts for the course are attached to the syllabus. 


(All of the following are videotapes in Dr. Frost's collection that are available for this course.)

Films we try to find time in class to watch:

Brother Sun,  Sister Moon (the life of St. Francis)

Jesus Christ, Superstar (the rock musical depicting Jesus' life)

The Mission (set in South America and based on historical events)

The Last Temptation of Christ

The Apostle

Elmer  Gantry

Defending Your Life


The  Crucible

The Wave

The Wicker Man


The African Queen

Meetings with Remarkable Men

All that Jazz



Films for students to take home, watch, and review for the class:

Inherit  the Wind                                               Holy Smoke

Agnes of God                                                    The  Believer

Saint Maybe                                                      Matrix

Little Buddah                                                    Saved by the Light

Eyes Wide Shut                                                My Life

Dead Again                                                      The God's Must Be Crazy

Black Orpheus                                                  Holy Man

Hamlet                                                              The  Name of the Rose 

Silverlake Life                                                  Brother of Sleep

At Play in the Fields of the Lord                      What Dreams May Come

Possessed                                                          Little Big Man

Beloved                                                             Fearless

Stigmata                                                            Dogma


Film Clips used to  illustrate various points:

Wall Street (clip on Greed)

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (final scenes on the meaning of life)

Witness (the barn-raising scene)

Pulp Fiction

Subway Stories

The Blair  Witch  Project

Message in the Bottle (Who  would you  write the letter to?  What would you say?  Why don't you?)


Interviews with Actors:

Meryl Streep, Michael Caine, James Woods, Richard Dreyfus, Robert DeNiro, Tom  Hanks, Jean Simmons, Ellen Barkin, Kathy Bates, Kate Hepburn, Humphry Bogart, Gregory Peck


Documentaries about Hollywood and movie making:

Visions of  Light: Cinematography

Reel Models: Early Female Movie Directors

AFI: 100 Most  Thrilling Movies

Celluloid Closet (Homosexuality in the Movies)



Documentaries about Religion and Spirituality and related matters:

ABC News: The Search for Jesus  with Peter Jennings

Huston Smith: Religions of the World

Episcopal Bishop Spong

Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent

6th  Sense of Animals

Stephen Hawking's Universe

When Bad Things Happen to Good People (Rabbi Dr. Harold Kushner)

Children and Questions for God

Near Death Experiences

Past Life Regressions



Deepak Chopra

Born Again: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church

Joseph Campbell

Christian Scientist


The Monkey Trial

The Pope

Pat Robertson

Ramtha:  Spirit world

Euthansia in Holland

Quest for Healing and Psychic  Surgery

Monty  Python

Transcendental  Meditation


Tracy  Ulman Takes on Religion

Jean Luc  Ponty  music video

Creative Commercials



In the movie Lost Horizon (1937) based on the James Hilton novel, the High  Lama of Shangri-La explains their way of life: "A way of life based on one simple  rule: Be kind."