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Popcorn Theology: Exploring Issues of Theology and Ethics with Youth 

This curriculum uses movies rated PG or PG-13 to explore theological and ethical issues with middle school or high school age youth. Each session uses a 20-minute excerpt followed by discussion questions and activities to enhance the learning experience.

        Some of the featured films and themes are:      

        Forrest Gump (cultivating an attitude of gratitude)
        Saved! (between right and wrong)
        Little Buddha (the concept of karma)
        Star Trek: The Final Frontier (how truth is determined by perspective)
        Contact (the conflict between faith and science)
        Bowling for Columbine (fear and violence in our society)
        Hotel Rwanda (how inaction leads to injustice) 
        Jurassic Park (ethics and science)
        Dances with Wolves (being open to the "other")
        Hoosiers (offering forgiveness)
        

Download a Sample Session or the Annotated Table of Contents

 
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Popcorn Theology Too: The Sequel

This updated and new version serves as a stand alone curriculum or can be paired with other Popcorn Theology for Youth sessions. It also uses movies rated PG or PG-13 to explore theological and ethical issues with middle school or high school age youth with two bonus sessions using R-rated movies. Some of the feature films and the themes explored are:

       Some of the featured films and themes are: 

        Life of Pi (taming the tiger in all of us)
        Jesus Christ Superstar (he is who we say he is)
        Spiderman (with great power comes great responsibility)
        Traitor (the fine line between terrorism and patriotism)
        The Hunger Games (economic disparity)
        Million Dollar Baby (the right to die)
        X-Files: I Want to Believe (the power of belief)
        I, Robot (what constitutes intelligent life?)
        Knowing (how does knowing the future change what we do?)
        Jesus Camp (indoctrination and political activism)
        Stargate: The Ark of Truth (the lesser of two evils)
        Gandhi (the way of truth and love)
        
PLUS TWO BONUS SESSIONS with movies rated R:

        Dead Man Walking (the death penalty and racism)
        Boys Don't Cry (oppression of persons who are transgender)

Download a Sample Session or Annotated Table of Contents        

 
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Popcorn Theology for Mature Audiences

This curriculum uses R-rated movies to explore issues of theology and ethics. Designed for use with young adult groups, adults and senior high youth.

the featured films and themes are: 

      The Breakfast Club (the groups we belong to)
      Dogma (considering what we are called to do)
      The Wall (the walls we build to keep others out)
      Monty Python's The Life of Brian (finding the strength to act)
      The Butterfly Effect (how experiences shape our identities)
      Final Destination (the randomness and uncertainty of death)
      Meet Joe Black (appreciating life while living it)
      Flatliners (how forgiveness brings peace)
      Terminator 2 (does the ends justify the means?)
      Blood Diamond (power imbalances)
      The Green Mile (justice and injustice)
      Interview with a Vampire (suffering as human experience)
      American Beauty (the subjective nature of beauty)
      The Matrix (reality as a matter of perspective)
      Last Temptation of Christ (idea of many truths)
      Amistad (complexities of conflict)
      Higher Learning (anti-oppression and bias)
      Children of Men (hope and optimism)

 

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Coming Soon: Popcorn Theology for All Ages

Coming soon ... a version of Popcorn Theology designed for elementary age children and multigenerational groups. Using primarily G-rated movies (with some PG movies) as excerpts makes this curriculum accessible for all audiences. With age-appropriate discussion questions and activities, this is great for religious education classes or multigenerational family groups.

Some of the featured films and themes are: 

      Toy Story (jealousy and resentment)
      Wreck-it Ralph (fuzzy lines between good & bad)
      Inside Out (the connection between sadness & joy)
      Zootopia (making mistakes and asking for forgiveness)
      Dolphin Tale (awareness of ableism)

      Lion King (past hurts)

      Brave (Be Careful What You Wish for)

      The Lorax (Speaking for the Trees)

Download a Sample Session