Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Rebecca Jones

Second Reader

Dr. Deborah Root

Third Reader

Dr. Jeff Root


For me as a teenager, secular films were merely a form of entertainment. A trip to the movies meant the chance to escape to a “galaxy far, far away,” to stand alongside Harry Potter in his latest confrontation with Lord Voldemort. I did not realize at the time the parallels between the Force in Star Wars, and the Christian God, or how Harry and Voldemort’s cinematic struggle can be seen as an allegory for the fight between good and evil.

At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, I was introduced to how God can use secular film to challenge our theological convictions and strengthen our faith, and this trip instilled in me a thirst for theological dialogue that has yet to be quenched.

I invite you to join me as I examine five secular films from various genres and eras of cinema (Toy Story, Casablanca, Inception, The Breakfast Club and Forrest Gump), and explain what they have to say about God, humanity and the world we live in.



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