On April 17, The University Library and School of Communication and the Arts hosted a book launch of Celluloid Sermons: The Emergence of the Christian Film Industry, 1930-1986, by former Regent President Terry Lindvall and Professor of Cinema and Television Andrew Quicke.
Celluloid Sermons, the product of 20 years of collaboration and research by the authors, is actually the second volume of a three-part series on the history of Christian film. The first book, Sanctuary Cinema: The Origins of the Christian Film Industry (2007) was written by Dr. Lindvall and covered Christian film-making during the silent film era. Prof. Quicke is currently writing the final volume under the provisional title Christian Box Office: 1986-2010.
Both Prof. Quicke and Dr. Lindvall emphasized that the films explored in Celluloid Sermons were not intended to be sophisticated artistic works, but didactic vehicles covering everything from Bible and Church history to spiritual life and moral education.
Following the book talk, special collections librarian Bob Sivigny and Library archivist Don Gantz offered tours of the Film Research Center, located on the 4th floor of the Library. The Library’s collection of more than 3,500 16mm Christian films is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. According to Prof. Quicke, to whom belongs much of the credit for building the Library’s Christian film collection, Celluloid Sermons is “a book that could only [have been] written at Regent University.”