Shuck and Jive

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Film for Evolution Sunday

Here is an excellent film for Evolution Sunday (or any Sunday) for a religious education class. Professor David Wollert presented it during our Adult Forum last year.

The film is very well done. It is entitled: Paradise Lost: The Religious Life of Charles Darwin.

View the trailer.

Yesterday's Johnson City Press published an article about Professor Wollert and the film:

In the shouting match between proponents of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories and those who demonize him, the story of his own religious faith is lost. How might Darwin’s own struggles illuminate today’s discussion of his ideas?

Biology professor David Wollert found the topic so compelling that he wrote and directed a documentary film titled “Paradise Lost: The Religious Life of Charles Darwin.” Apparently others find the topic just as interesting. The film was recently named an “Editor’s Pick” by Library Journal, the official journal of the American Library Association. Wollert said he was surprised by the honor.

“I was pleased just knowing that they wanted to review it,” said Wollert, a faculty member at Northeast State Technical Community College since 2000.

More than 100,000 libraries and institutions subscribe to the journal. Amongst thousands of submissions, only a few titles each year are singled out as an Editor’s Pick, and these are usually books, rather than films.

The documentary premiered at Northeast State in June. The film was most recently screened at the Tennessee Science Teachers Association conference in Nashville.

“The film has been very well received,” said Wollert. “Charles Darwin is a fascinating, but often misrepresented figure in history. I suspect few people know that he once trained for the ministry.”

The cross-disciplinary film traces Darwin’s personal and professional life as it documents his transition from theism, to deism, to agnosticism. (Read More)

The article mentions that the film is a resource for Evolution Weekend. According to the article:

Hundreds of churches across the country (including two in the Tri-Cities) will host special events Feb. 8-10 designed to increase awareness and understanding of the positive relationship between science and religion. Many will show “Paradise Lost.”

Wait a minute! There are three congregations celebrating Evolution Weekend in the Tricities:

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, TN
The Rev. Joe-d DowlingSoka

Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
Gray , TN
The Rev. Jacqueline Luck

and, of course,

First Presbyterian Church
Elizabethton, TN
The Rev. John Shuck

Our plans for Evolution Sunday include a trip to the Gray Fossil Site to see Sue. Check it out!

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