John Calvin Meets the Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Christian Reformed Church and the Movies 1928--1966

William D. Romanowski

In this case study in conservative American Christianity, William D. Romanowski analyzes the failure of the Christian Reformed Church to apply its own Neo-Calvinist principles in their policy regarding the cinema. In effect, the synthesis of religious fundamentalism and the secular concept of a cultural hierarchy equated the antagonism between elite and popular cultures with the spiritual battle between God and Satan. Consequently, movies were treated as hostile to the church and banned from the realm of Christian experience and transformation. This had direct implications for the development of religious and educational institutions. Mr. Romanowski is an associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin College.

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Last Updated: December 20, 1995
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