Screening and discussion with James D. Ault of his a two-part documentary series, “African Christianity Rising,” exploring the explosive expansion of Christianity in Ghana and Zimbabwe. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of History, the American Religions Workshop, and the Center for African Studies.
This event will involve viewing clips from the two films and discussion of the nature and direction of Christian growth in sub-Saharan Africa and of methods of using documentary video to portray religious life and faith or bring viewers into other cultures. The films document and explore the essential overlaps in religious cultures when any religion makes its way into a new culture. The project also demonstrates methods for using documentary video to portray faith.
James D. Ault is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and author educated at Harvard and Brandeis (Ph.D. in Sociology). Originally a student of African politics and cultures, his first film,Born Again, an intimate portrait of a fundamentalist Baptist church in the United States, grew out of field research among grassroots “new right” groups in the in the 1980s. It was broadcast as a national primetime special on PBS and around the world and won a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival. His book on that project, Spirit and Flesh (Knopf 2005), was named one of the 5 best non-fiction books of the year by The Christian Science Monitor and called by The Washington Post “The best single-volume explanation of why American fundamentalist Christianity thrives among certain people . . .and why it will not die out.”