An examination of "Catholicism and the Movies" by way of "Groundhog Day"


Image: M ScaleseA look at "Catholicism and the Movies" by Fairfield University Associate Professor Rev. Mark P. Scalese, S.J., will be the subject of a Living Theology Workshop, this Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. On the agenda are the critically acclaimed films, "Groundhog Day," starring Bill Murray; "The Tree of Life," featuring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn; and the Cannes Film Festival-winner, "Of Gods and Men."

Free and open to the public, the workshop will take place in the Barone Campus Center, Room 200, and is sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies.

Fr. Scalese, associate professor of visual and performing arts, is director of the Film, Television, and Media Arts Program at Fairfield. He'll discuss movies that run the gamut in terms of how they treat religion and/or spirituality. " 'Groundhog Day' is a mainstream movie with popular appeal whose spiritual message is evident but not overt," he said. " 'The Tree of Life' is an art-house movie that deals with everything from Creation to the resurrection of the dead; its spirituality is more overt but nondenominational."

Fr. Scalese will also examine "Of Gods and Men," a French-language movie "whose religious subject matter is quite overt because it deals with the martyrdom of French Trappist monks in Morocco in the 1990s. Each of these films is beautiful in its own way and should spark animated conversation among those who attend the workshop on Saturday."

Directed by Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies, the Center for Catholic Studies provides an inter-disciplinary inquiry into the intellectual tradition, history and culture of the Catholic Christian tradition.

For more information, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/cs/lectures/ or contact Michelle Towster, administrative coordinator, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3415.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 22, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 279