On-screen faith shined in 2016

Here’s my December 17 newsletter. To receive my latest articles, favorite religion reads and other updates in your inbox every Saturday, sign-up here.

As the world goes wild for the new Star Wars, I’m searching my calendar for time to see “Arrival” and “Manchester by the Sea.” It’s been an excellent year for movies in my estimation, and I’ve stuffed my face with expensive, overly buttered popcorn at least once every two weeks.

The religion nerds among you will noticed that I didn’t mention “Silence,” but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the most buzzed about faith film of the year. I only mentioned the top two of my ever-expanding movie wish list!

I brought up “Silence” because it’s set to be the cherry on top of a wonderful year for religion-related movies and TV. Faith was a big part of “Hacksaw Ridge,” “The Birth of a Nation” and even “Sausage Party.” Read more about how religious themes played out on the big and small screens in the excellent Vox piece, linked below.


Trump’s outreach to evangelicals didn’t end with the election


When Mother Teresa met with New York’s mayor to lobby for a parking permit, Atlas Obscura

Aaron Schock once turned to Jesus. Now he faces federal corruption charges, Daniel Silliman, The Washington Post

Congregants’ quiet agony at the Dylann Roof trial, The New York Times

How 2016’s movies and TV shows reflected Americans’ changing relationship with religion, Vox.com


I stumbled upon the New York Times Vows column for the first time in a long time last night, and I was rewarded with a silly little aside about religious practice.

“Before the wedding procession, the groom’s grandmother stopped to say to her grandson, ‘I really hope you are planning to nurture Jewish traditions in your household.’ … Then she walked down the aisle through a flank of eight choir-robed gospel singers belting out ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,'” wrote Jane Gordon Julien.


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