Zwinglius Redivivus

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Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Time Together With ‘Zwingli’s Wife’

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Oh man…  I need to be rich so I can jet off to these things!

Im Januar kommt – 500 Jahre nach seinem Amtsantritt in Zürich – Ulrich Zwingli in die Kinos. Es ist eine der grössten Schweizer Filmproduktionen und wir freuen uns darauf, den Event mit verschiedenen Anlässen inhaltlich begleiten zu dürfen. Der Film heisst schlicht «Zwingli». Aber ganz klar: Es geht nicht nur um seine Person und seine Ideen, sondern auch um die Menschen, die um ihn waren und die Bewegung mitgetragen, mitbefördert, die mitgedacht, mitgelitten und mitgestritten haben. Wer, wenn nicht seine Ehefrau, die er geliebt und als Priester geheiratet hat, könnte da nicht ein Lied davon singen: Anna Reinhart.

Wir haben schon einige Veranstaltungen und Projekte rund um das Thema Frauen im Rahmen des Reformationsjubiläums gestalten und damit eine Bewusstseinsschärfung fördern dürfen. In der vierten Ausgabe der Veranstaltungsreihe «Update Reformationsjubiläum» sprechen wir für einmal anders über die Frage von Rollen: Reformationsbotschafterin und Pfarrerin Catherine McMillan unterhält sich mit der Schauspielerin Sarah Sophia Meyer, die im Film Anna Reinhart verkörpert und am Schauspielhaus Graz tätig ist. Was sind ihre ganz persönlichen Gedanken, Erfahrungen, was hat der Film und die Auseinandersetzung mit der Geschichte, den Personen, der Frau und Rolle Anna sowie dem Gedankengut der Umwälzungen von vor 500 Jahren mit ihr gemacht und welche Botschaft möchte sie vermitteln? Freuen Sie sich mit uns auf einen anregenden Abend mit anschliessender Diskussion und Apéro.

Written by Jim

4 Oct 2018 at 8:06 am

Posted in media

#ICYMI – Storm: Luther’s Forbidden Letter

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When his father is arrested for printing a forbidden letter written by controversial reformer Martin Luther, 12-year-old Storm escapes with the original. On the run from authorities, Storm finds unexpected help from Maria, a young girl who lives in the city’s underground tunnels. In a race against time, Storm tries to save his father from execution and get the letter into safe hands. But whom can he trust? What starts out as a fearful flight becomes a bold fight for freedom.

My assessment of this really delightful film (in its subtitled version) is posted here.  The link in the paragraph above is to the English version of the movie.

I assure you, you’ll love it.

Written by Jim

28 Sep 2018 at 5:19 am

Posted in Church History, media

I Would Absolutely Buy It


Specifically targeting the lucrative Christian market for the first time in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Amazon just released a new version of its Amazon Echo device that is shaped like Reformer Martin Luther.

Dubbed the “Amazon Luther,” the new device is programmed to answer all your theology questions in the Reformer’s trademark aggressive tone and style.

An Amazon rep gave a demo at the press conference announcing the device, showing off some of its dynamic responses:

“Luther, can you tell me about the Pope?”

The Pope is a mere tormentor of conscience. The assembly of his greased and religious crew in praying is altogether like the croaking of frogs, which edifies nothing at all.

“Luther, am I a good person?”

You are a sinner, you’re dead, you’re eaten up with corruption. Every free choice of yours is evil and not good.

“Luther, is Joel Osteen a solid preacher?”

Yes, Joel is an excellent person, as skillful, clever, and versed in Holy Scripture as a cow in a walnut tree or a sow on a harp.

The device was programmed to showcase as much scathing wit as Martin Luther had himself as he responded to his various theological and political foes throughout his years, and will quickly snap back to anything you ask it with a “brutal fatality,” claim Amazon’s product engineers.

According to Amazon, the device will also be able to order beer straight to the user’s home, jovially shouting, “Yes, let us drink beer!” whenever the consumer does so.

I’d buy one for every room.

Written by Jim

17 Sep 2018 at 11:52 am

The New iPhone Has Features for the Christian Sermon Ignorer

The new Apple iPhone will now include a “panic button” that will allow Christians to quickly switch from Facebook, other social media, or video games over to the Bible app for whenever they get caught messing around on their phone in church, Apple announced Tuesday.

The feature can be added on for just $299 as an option while purchasing your new iPhone online.

Speaking at the highly anticipated iPhone 8 event Tuesday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook demonstrated how the easily accessible button will instantly pull up the passage being preached on, hiding from viewers how you were actually goofing off on your phone just moments before.

“No matter if you’re commanding your armies in Clash of Clans or Facebook-stalking an old friend from high school, the iPanic Button will immediately make it look like you’re actually paying attention to the sermon,” Cook said to wild cheers from the audience. “Now you can look spiritual to the ushers, deacons, and passersby without having to hear a single word the pastor preaches each Sunday.”

“There’s just one more thing,” he added as the crowd leaned in with suspense. “The iPhone 8 will also automatically check you in at church, so your reputation as a holy Christian will be broadcast to all your friends and family.”

The crowd went wild, and Apple’s website went down almost immediately due to the volume of Christians attempting to order the phone.

Browse on, brave Christian.  Browse on…

Written by Jim

13 Sep 2018 at 7:51 am

Posted in disdain, media, mockery

I Cannot Wait to See This Film

Cannot.  Wait.  So looking forward to being in Zurich when the film is shown in February with the filmmaker himself present.

Zwingli – Der Film — Wir präsentieren euch das erste offizielle Bild vom Film ZWINGLI! Dieses zeigt Haupdarsteller Max Simonischek in seiner Rolle als Reformator.

Written by Jim

5 Sep 2018 at 11:07 am

Posted in media, zurich, Zwingli

Immer diese Zwinglis!

Written by Jim

29 May 2018 at 6:50 am

Posted in media, Zwingli

No, They Haven’t Found ‘Links to King David’ in Jerusalem

You guys need to stop it.  Just STOP IT.

This is how stupid ‘journalism’ works these days:  The claim:

A lost city dating to the rule of King David from the Old Testament has been uncovered in Jerusalem.

The irrelevant side bit:

King David is an ancestor of Jesus, according to biblical sources, which say he ruled around BC 1,000.

The supposition without evidence:

Experts say that recently-found ruins date to the 10th century BC.

And now the giant leap:

This ties in with the timeframe for when the bible says King David existed, making the link between the two ‘plausible’, researchers claim.

The timeframe?  For when the Bible says….  making the link plausible????   Good grief.  This is poor logic combined with speculation combined with unsubstantiated claims.  And it needs to stop.

The witless observation:

The finding is likely to fuel the debate surrounding whether Biblical figures such as King David actually existed, however.

Shut up forever.  The entire journalistic profession is festooned with imbeciles who can’t bother to ask actual experts about things before they publish them and as a result the ignorant general public is fed crap and actual scholars pass out from asphyxiation from laughing so hard at them.

Come on media, be better.  Do better.

Written by Jim

1 May 2018 at 11:06 am

Posted in media

The First Issue of a New Religion Journal is Yours For the Reading

The Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture is a peer-reviewed academic journal publishing three issues per year. RMDC publishes original work that contributes to social-scientific discussion of the relationship between religion, media and culture. Studies of any religious tradition, medium or geographical region are welcome. The journal’s primary focus is on recent and contemporary media, but historical studies may also be considered. Theological writings will not normally be accepted for publication.

Written by Jim

30 Apr 2018 at 5:46 am

Posted in media, Modern Culture

‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’, the Movie, is Rubbish

Here’s Matthew Anderson on it-

The poster for Paul, Apostle of Christ shows a steely-eyed Paul (James Faulkner) gazing straight at the viewer. Luke, played by Jim Caviezel, (Jesus in The Passion of the Christ), stands resolutely beside him. Two handsome, sun-beaten white actors with strong noses and strong chins play heroes of the Christian faith. What could possibly be wrong?

In terms of historical accuracy, there’s much wrong. And much at stake. Paul, Apostle of Christ is one of an upsurge in Bible-themed movies that romanticize and distort the past and risk present-day harm. Such films are like soda pop: Sweet, easy to swallow, but harmful as a steady diet.

Etc.  Like all Bible movies, this one is worth missing.

Written by Jim

13 Apr 2018 at 5:54 am

Crowdfunding For a Film on the Life of Zwingli

Donate here.  And watch this super video on the project-

Written by Jim

27 Nov 2017 at 8:17 am

Posted in media, Zwingli

The Logos Free Book (But Not a Book this Time) of the Month


Written by Jim

1 Nov 2017 at 5:29 am

Posted in media

A Movie About Paul is Coming In 2018

Oh boy…  (said in the same tone one would hear from a man were one to overhear that man being told he has to have a vasectomy as he voiced his reaction…)

Affirm Films, who are the faith-based branch of Sony have announced that they are currently filming a new movie about the apostle Paul due for release next year. Affirm are also currently putting the finishing touches on The Star ahead of its 10th November release later in the year.

Paul, Apostle of Christ will star James Faulkner in the leading role, supported by Passion of the Christs Jim Caviezel as Luke,  A.D. The Bible Continues‘ Joanna Whalley as Priscilla, and The Fall’s John Lynch as Aquilla. Lynch also starred as Gabriel in the BBC’s The Passion (2010). Interestingly the IMDb also lists Yorgos Karamihos as playing Saul of Tarsus, suggesting there might be a bit of a jump between Paul’s ministry to the Jews and his ministry to the Gentiles.

Oh boy (snip)…

Written by Jim

7 Oct 2017 at 8:39 am

Posted in media

An Interview About a Film About Zwingli

With Anne Walser:

Frau Walser, die Firma C-Films plant für dieses Jahr einen Film über Huldrich Zwingli. Wann starten Sie mit den Dreharbeiten?

Die eigentlichen Dreharbeiten werden innerhalb von sieben Wochen ab Februar 2018 stattfinden, damit eine Weltpremiere des Filmes im Januar 2019 stattfinden kann – genau fünfhundert Jahre zuvor hat Zwingli seine Stelle als Leutpriester am Grossmünster angetreten. Die Vorbereitungen laufen aber jetzt schon auf Hochtouren. Es ist ein sehr ambitiöses Projekt, Zürich im Mittelalter darstellen zu wollen. Neben Zürich werden wir auch in Stein am Rhein, das noch über eine vollkommen erhaltene mittelalterliche Altstadt verfügt, drehen.


2019 findet das Zwingli-Jahr statt. Spüren Sie dadurch ein grösseres Interesse an Ihrem Projekt?

Unbedingt gewinnt der Film damit eine Aktualität. Europa würdigt in den kommenden Jahren mit einer Vielzahl unterschiedlichster Aktivitäten die Welt der Reformation. Der Film «Zwingli – der Reformator» wird dabei sicherlich das grosse Highlight im Reigen dieser Aktionen werden: Wir machen Historie nachhaltig erlebbar und greifbar. Generationenübergreifend und für jedermann zugänglich wird Zwinglis einzigartiger Werdegang beschrieben: eine starke, in der Öffentlichkeit neu und differenziert wahr-genommene Figur.

And more.  I. Can’t. Wait.

Written by Jim

3 Oct 2017 at 6:47 am

Posted in media, Zwingli

Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed the World

I previewed this film and took part in a panel discussion some months back.  You’ll enjoy it, even though there are a few bits that are inaccurate.  Nonetheless, the good far outweighs the bad.

Check your local listings.  In the Eastern time zone it airs at 8 PM tonight on your local PBS station.

Written by Jim

12 Sep 2017 at 11:57 am

Posted in Luther, media

Storm and Luther’s Forbidden Letter

I mentioned this film some time ago and was very pleased to watch a subtitled version and review it.  Now, brilliantly, the producers and distributors have made an English version!

When his father is arrested for printing a forbidden letter written by controversial reformer Martin Luther, 12-year-old Storm escapes with the original. On the run from authorities, Storm finds unexpected help from Maria, a young girl who lives in the city’s underground tunnels. In a race against time, Storm tries to save his father from execution and get the letter into safe hands. But whom can he trust? What starts out as a fearful flight becomes a bold fight for freedom.

You owe it to yourself to watch this film!  It’s one of the best dramatizations of life in Luther’s day that has yet been produced.

Written by Jim

28 Aug 2017 at 4:17 pm

To Have Integrity, Journalists Need to Connect With Academics

This is a very fine reminder for journalists to deepen their work through academic connections.  And a very much needed one at that.

A[s] this year alone would highlight, in this current age of post-truth, in order to maintain the journalistic standard that Sir Charles Wheeler set out – one  of “integrity, authority, humanity and evidence” – academic research is vital.

Read it all.

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2017 at 8:04 am

Posted in media

#ICYMI – How Not To Do Your First Day at a New Teaching Job

A new teacher in Wagoner, Oklahoma, was arrested on her first day after she showed up at the school both drunk and without pants.  Hill was interviewed by police and admitted she’d been drinking.  A search of her car turned up an empty cup that reportedly smelled of vodka.



For some reason I don’t imagine Lorie Hill will be ‘teacher of the year’.  Now if she lived in Texas, it would be another matter altogether.


Written by Jim

7 Aug 2017 at 7:01 am

Posted in media, Modern Culture

Financing for the Zwingli Film has been Secured

This is good news.

«Zwingli – der Reformator» wird der Spielfilm heissen, der 2019 in die Kinos kommen soll. Nun hat die Zürcher Produktionsfirma C-Films dem 5,7-Millionen-Vorhaben grünes Licht gegeben, wie das «St. Galler Tagblatt» schreibt. Finanziert wird der Film neben der Förderung durch das Bundesamt für Kultur, die Evangelische Landeskirche des Kantons Zürich und das Schweizer Fernsehen SRF auch durch ein Crowdfunding.

Can’t wait.

Written by Jim

18 Jul 2017 at 9:25 am

Storm: Letter of Fire – My Review

The good folk who produced it have allowed me to review their very new film.

The technical details first:

  • Screenplay: Karen Holst Pellekaan
  • Director: Dennis Bots
  • Producers: Harro van Staverden Petra Goedings, Phanta Basta!
  • Co initiator: REFO500 Karla Apperloo, Herman Selderhuis
  • Coproducers: Iris Productions (LUX), Bulletproof Cupid (BE), NTR (NL)
  • Line Producer: Michiel Bartels
  • Cast: Davy Gomez, Juna de Leeuw, Yorick van Wageningen, Angela Schijf, Maarten Heijmans, Egbert Jan Weeber
  • Distributor NL: Dutch Filmworks
  • Release NL: January 2017

Very few historical dramas which have as their subject matter the beginnings of the Lutheran Reformation are as wonderfully produced as this fantastic film.  From the reconstruction of the 16th century cities to the costume design to the set decorations to the printing presses and everything in between this is a visual feast.  It’s, and I don’t used this word often or lightly, gorgeous.

The acting is superb and the dialogue is gripping and engaging.  The film is in Dutch but it is subtitled in English and those with a fairly good grasp of German will be able to follow much of the Dutch dialogue since the two languages overlap in numerous places.  But even those with only English will not lose a moment of the story as they read along.

Most important of all, at least for persons who care about historical accuracy, is the fact that the film brilliantly and thoroughly both grasps and exhibits a profound understanding of how the early years of the Reformation affected individual families.  Indeed, one of the highlights of the film is the tension provoked in nuclear families when mother and father have differing takes on subjects such as indulgences and purgatory.  Luther’s ideas caught on with some members of households and not others.  The dynamic interplay such a reality caused in houses is the highlight of the movie.

Historical accuracy was also on full display in the scenes depicting the printer’s workshop.  Printing was arduous, dirty, and often dangerous work.  And that fact is faithfully depicted.

The story told is of a young man, Storm, whose father was a printer and who found himself sympathetic with and willing to print materials by the outlaw Luther.  Arrested for his crime by the local authorities, the young man, and an exceedingly charming and delightful young female ‘street urchin’ he befriends have to do what they can to rescue Storm’s father.

It’s a lovely telling with a historically accurate and faithful delivery in wondrous cinematography the likes of which the best Hollywood blockbusters can’t match.  If you have the opportunity to see this film, you should.  It is worthy both of two thumbs up, five stars, and all the other accolades the critics award, and an Oscar too for Best Foreign Film of 2017.  At least as far as I’m concerned.

Written by Jim

6 Jun 2017 at 2:47 pm

Posted in media

The Whininess of Reza Aslan

RNS has an interesting essay on the academic response to Reza Aslan’s CNN special series on religion (the first episode of which I watched and really disliked) titled Reza Aslan and the ‘pettiness of academia’.  In short, Aslan attributes the scholarly reaction to ‘pettiness’.  In reality, he should stick to sociology, his chosen field, because as a scholar of religion he’s been weighed in the balances and found to be very wanting.

People who don’t know anything about religion like his special, in the same way that people who don’t know anything about the Bible like ‘bible specials’ and movies like ‘Noah’ and ‘The Shack’.  What needs to be remembered is that the fact that someone likes something doesn’t mean that what they like is real or true.  Likability, in other words, isn’t a criterion of facticity.

Aslan’s upset at academics because he wants approval.  Truth and accuracy, on the other hand, are not quite within his field of vision.

Anyway, the essay linked above says it fairly well-

After a six-week run, Reza Aslan’s “spiritual adventure” series “Believer” completed its first season. Although we don’t yet know if CNN will approve a second season, one thing is certain: Scholars of religion didn’t really care for it.

Some have criticized it for sensationalizing religion for the sake of ratings (including myself over at my YouTube channel). Others have accused Aslan of conducting sloppy research and failing to cite leading experts of the religions he chose to showcase.

Still others argued he transgressed basic religious studies methodology, trading in his role as a neutral scholar of religion for the role of a “spiritual guide” or “retailer of import goods.”


Written by Jim

14 Apr 2017 at 9:40 am

Posted in media