Thinking Outside the Box(set)
The nights are fair drawing in. In Scotland small furry mammals (and several not so small or furry mammals) are getting ready to hibernate for the winter. It’s time to batten down the hatches, get your slippers/giraffe onsie/slanket, put on a boxset, and wrestle with emotional and theological complexity…
This September Sanctuary First is going to be reading the Bible alongside the defining storytelling medium of the 21st Century: the series boxset. Whether it’s a literal box of DVDs or a digital one you stream online, the range, quality and popularity of TV drama available to contemporary audiences is incredible. Through the internet people are rediscovering loved programmes of older generations, obscure cult hits they missed first time around, and compelling series from around the world in different languages.
While Hollywood is often accused of complacently churning out bland, safe franchises; TV in the UK, America and around the world, is having something of a renaissance. Many actors, writers and directors have migrated from film to TV appreciating the space and time you can give character and plot over a running time of several hours.
What is interesting is how often these series draw, both indirectly and directly, on biblical themes and motifs. A common feature of a lot of the most popular and critically acclaimed TV Series is the depiction of morally complex characters wrestling with identity, responsibility and brokenness. These struggles are personal, existential, political and life-threatening. These universal struggles are an essential part of the biblical narrative.
For our Daily Worship series we will be asking 4 writers to select 2 series they will talk about during their week. We have listed potential programmes to draw from each week and pointers for sub themes based on the readings but feel free to adapt this material to feature programmes that you or your group are familiar with - many of these programmes are dark in tone and content.
Each week contains 7 Bible references. Usually 6 from Lectionary + 1 additional reading relating to the sub theme.