Craig Detweiler

Craig Detweiler is Associate Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.  Craig directs Pepperdine’s Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture.

His first book (co-written with Barry Taylor), A Matrix of Meanings:  Finding God in Pop Culture (2003) was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in Theology/Doctrine.   His recent books include Into the Dark:  Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films in the 21st Century (2008) and A Purple State of Mind:  Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Culture (2008).    Craig edited the first book on theology and video games, Halos and Avatars:  Playing Video Games with God (2010).  

Detweiler has also written chapters in Behind the Screen:  Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture (2005), Reframing Theology and Film (2007), Small Screen, Big Picture:  Television and Lived Religion (2009), and the Routledge Companion to Religion and Film (2009).

Feature films he has written include The Duke (1999) and Extreme Days (2001).  As a director, his documentary Williams Syndrome:  A Highly Musical Species (1996) won a Cine Golden Eagle and his comedic doc Purple State of Mind (2008) won “Best Spiritual Film” at the Breckenridge Festival of Film.  Detweiler has also written study guides for acclaimed films like Walk the Line, The Great Debaters, Lars and the Real Girl, and The Blind Side.

Craig produces the annual City of the Angels Film Festival at the Directors Guild in Hollywood.  Over a hundred classics mergers of theology and film have been screened at the fest.    Detweiler has served as a juror for the Beliefnet Film Awards, the Heartland Film Festival, the Angelus Awards and Patheos’ Faith on Campus contest.    He also leads a coalition of schools and educators to the Sundance Film Festival for the WindRider Forum.

Craig is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College and earned an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema/TV.    Craig completed his MDiv and PhD at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Detweiler’s cultural commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News, and NPR.   He blogs at

JR & F
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