One of the first battles played out in cinematic history took place off screen, according to an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Shanny Luft will shed light on the line drawn between Hollywood and fundamentalists in the early 1900s as part of the ninth annual University Evening on Wednesday, Oct. 17. His presentation, “In the Devil’s Church: The Christian Fight Over Hollywood,” will be held at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center.
Offered to the public free of charge, this distinguished faculty lecture is held annually as a celebration of the creativity and scholarship of UW-Stevens Point faculty. Movie theatre-style refreshments will be served as part of the event.
“Fundamentalists in the first half of the 20th century saw the film industry as a serious threat to American morality,” said Luft. “I hope this talk will generate conversation and reflection about the relationships between religion and popular culture.”
Luft, who has taught at UW-Stevens Point since 2009, is currently writing a book about evangelical attitudes toward the film industry in the early 20th century. His research interests include religion and popular culture, new religious movements and American evangelicalism and fundamentalism. He earned degrees from Boston University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and previously taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Meredith College and the College of Wooster.