Lindvall, Terry 1948- (Terence R. Lindvall)

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Lindvall, Terry 1948- (Terence R. Lindvall)

PERSONAL:

Born June 15, 1948, in Basel, Switzerland; son of an army chaplain; married September 10, 1983; wife's name Karen; children: Christopher, Caroline Joy. Education: Attended Vanguard University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the University of Southern California.

ADDRESSES:

Home—VA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Ordained Congregational minister; CBN/Regent University, film faculty, beginning 1978, president, 1993-94, held the Distinguished Chair of Visual Communication; also served on faculty at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, Walter Mason Fellow of Religious Studies; Duke University, Durham, NC; Virginia Wesleyan University, Norfolk, VA, C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought. Military service: Served as a reserve army chaplain.

WRITINGS:

Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1996.

(Compiler) The Silents of God: Selected Issues and Documents in Silent American Film and Religion, 1908-1925, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2001.

The Mother of All Laughter: Sarah & the Genesis of Comedy, Broadman & Holman (Nashville, TN), 2003.

Sanctuary Cinema: Origins of the Christian Film Industry, New York University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Terry Lindvall was born June 15, 1948, in Basel, Switzerland, the son of an Army chaplain who moved the family frequently. Lindvall was educated at Vanguard University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the University of Southern California, and eventually went on to become an ordained Congregational minister. Inspired by his father, he became a reserve Army chaplain. However, Lindvall has spent the majority of his career working in higher education. He began teaching at Regent University, associated with the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), in 1978, joining the faculty for film, communications, and the arts, and eventually became Distinguished Chair of Visual Communication. He also spent time as president of the university before returning to just his teaching duties. After Regent University, Lindvall went on to work at the Divinity School of Duke University and at the College of William and Mary, where he was the Walter Mason Fellow of Religious Studies. Upon leaving William and Mary, Lindvall joined the faculty at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia, where he is the C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought. In addition to his academic endeavors, Lindvall has written a number of books on the relationship between religion and faith and the film and entertainment industries. His titles include Surprised by Laughter: The ComicWorld of C.S. Lewis, The Mother of All Laughter: Sarah & the Genesis of Comedy, and Sanctuary Cinema: Origins of the Christian Film Industry. He also served as the compiler for the collection The Silents of God: Selected Issues and Documents in Silent American Film and Religion, 1908-1925.

Surprised by Laughter addresses the relationship between laughing and comedy and a spiritual life. Lindvall looks at the works and ideas of C.S. Lewis as they pertain to accessing religion and God through humor. The book stresses that human beings have a tendency to take themselves too seriously, and notes that instead it might be beneficial to have a more lighthearted outlook on life. Even horrendous problems might seem less difficult to cope with if they are addressed with a measure of levity. Using Lewis's own definition as a guide, Lindvall discusses the various types of moods that might lead to laughter, including joy, fun, an actual joke, and flippancy. David C. Downing, in a review for Christianity Today, remarked that "Lindvall presents his analysis in sprightly prose and wisely lets Lewis speak for himself on most topics, drawing frequent parallels from G.K. Chesterton and a host of other authors, from Aristotle to Lewis Carroll." Jeannie Crawford-Lee, in a review for the Book Page Web site, found Lindvall's work to be "rewarding both for its insight into Lewis and its provocative nudge at one's own view of ‘spiritual’ life."

With Sanctuary Cinema, Lindvall offers readers a history of film and its relationship to religion in America, particularly the Protestant Church. At the turn of the twentieth century, the nascent film industry became a potential tool for the church to spread its mission, but first the Protestants needed to overcome certain ingrained prejudices against using images in such a way. Lindvall covers not just the early film industry and how it got its start, but the history of Protestant issues with the format, and goes on to discuss how the two sides eventually united so that film became a beneficial means of promoting a Christian message. Paul A. Soukup, writing for Communication Research Trends, concluded that "Lindvall's book provides a wonderful and wonderfully readable history of this important period. Issues that churches and those interested in communication, culture, and religion wrestle with today turn out to have appeared almost one hundred years ago."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 1, 1997, review of Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis, p. 1496; July 1, 2002, P.H. Stacy, review of The Silents of God: Selected Issues and Documents in Silent American Film and Religion, 1908-1925; September 1, 2007, R.D. Sears, review of Sanctuary Cinema: Origins of the Christian Film Industry, p. 106.

Christianity Today, February 3, 1997, David C. Downing, review of Surprised by Laughter, p. 66.

Church History, December 1, 2007, Judith Weisenfeld, review of Sanctuary Cinema, p. 869.

Communication Research Trends, September 1, 2007, Paul A. Soukup, review of Sanctuary Cinema, p. 26.

Journal of American Culture, June 1, 2008, John Shelton Lawrence Emeritus, reviews of The Silents of God and Sanctuary Cinema, p. 263.

Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2003, review of The Mother of All Laughter: Sarah & the Genesis of Comedy, p. 276.

Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2002, review of The Silents of God, p. 200.

ONLINE

Book Page,http://www.bookpage.com/ (July 26, 2008), Jeannie Crawford-Lee, review of Surprised by Laughter.

Virginia Wesleyan College Faculty Web site,http://facultystaff.vwc.edu/ (July 26, 2008), faculty profile.