Marlin Directory

Terrence Lindvall

Terrence Lindvall (Terry)

Professor of Religious Studies
C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought

Degrees Held

B.A., Vanguard University
M. Div., Fuller Seminary
Ph.D., University of Southern California

Office Location: 107 Robert Nusbaum Center, Clarke Hall
Phone: 757-455-3277
- Media and Communication
- Religious Studies

Lindvall occupies the C. S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Welseyan College, since 2006.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, his MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and his BA in Literature/Biology from Vanguard University; he has taught at Azusa Pacific University, Wheaton College, and Regent University.  He was also a Visiting Professor at Duke University School of Divinity and the Walter Mason Fellow in Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. He also slummed as a former president of Regent University for four years where he was called "Peck's Bad Boy."


Animated Parables: A Pedagogy of Seven Deadly Sins and a Few Virtues (Lexington Press, 2023)
Souls for Sale: Rupert Hughes and the Novel Hollywood Religion (Wipf and Stock, 2021)
God on the Big Screen: A History of Prayers in Hollywood Films from the Silent Films to Today (New York University Press, 2019)
Old Men of the Bible: Reflections on Faith and Aging with Craig Wansink and cartoonist John Lawing (Smyth/Helwys Publishers, 2019)
Divine Film Comedies: Biblical Narratives and Sub-Genres of Film Comedy with Dennis Bounds and Chris Lindvall (Routledge Press, 2016)
God Mocks: A History of Religious Satire from the Hebrew Prophets to Stephen Colbert (New York University Press, 2015) Religious Communication Association 2016 Book of the Year
A Mirror for Fools: An Illustrated Alphabet of Religion and Satire (with John Lawing illustrator) (Koehler Press, 2015)
The Girl Who Couldn’t Laugh with Caroline Lindvall (Newington-Cropsey Foundation, 2012)
Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C. S. Lewis revised (HarperCollins, 2012)
Celluloid Sermons: Emergence of the Christian Film Industry with Andrew Quicke (New York University Press, 2011)
      • Windows of Faith: Literature and the Longing for God (ed.) (Bedford Select, 2010)
Sanctuary Cinema: Origins of the Christian Film Industry (New York University Press, 2007) Religious Communication Book of the Year Award (RCA, 2008)
The Mother of All Laughter: Sarah and the Genesis of Comedy (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2003)
The Silents of God: Selected Issues and Documents in Silent American Film and Religion, 1908-1926 (London: The Scarecrow Press, 2001)
Zaskoczeni smiechem (Warsaw: Instytut Wydawnicszy Pax, 2001)
Surprised by Laughter: C.S. Lewis and the Comic Spirit (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997)


• “’He shoulda been called Yitzhak’: Mel Brooks and the Pleasures of Parody” (Mel Brooks: A Critical Overview forthcoming Routledge Press)
• “Laughter in Narnia” (submitted to VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center)
• “Orphans” Encyclopedia of Religion and Film (forthcoming)
• “From Gothic to Gags: Disney's Deconstruction of Death through Humor" (Lorna Piatti-Farnell and Jeffrey Weinstock eds.) Disney's Gothic Kingdom: Dark Shadows in the House of Mouse.(forthcoming Lexington Press, 2023)
• “Revelation of the Author and Incarnation in the Animated Film” animationstudies 2.0 (February 14, 2023)
• “Theology and Animated Parables” animationstudies 2.0 (February 7, 2023)
• “Ridens discentium, Cheshire Cats, and Classroom Humor” Teach Communication with a Sense of Humor: Why (and How to) Be a Funnier and More Effective Communication Teacher (Kishor Vaidya ed.) (Curious Academic, 2021)
• “Recasting Snow White: Parodic Animated Homages to the Disney Feature” in Snow White (eds. Chris Holliday and Chris Pallant) (Bloomsbury Press, 2021)
• “Blurred Laughter: How Disney and Pixar Animated Films Teach Children to
Laugh like Animals” in Our Animals/Ourselves: The Blurred Line between Human and Animal in Popular Culture (ed. Kathy Merlock-Jackson, et. al.) (McFarland, 2021)
• “The Laughter of Children: C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and Exemplary Models of Laughter” (submitted to VII: Inkling Writers, 2021)
• "Holbein, Obarski, and the Enduring “Gif” of the Danse Macabre" in Fantasy / Animation Research (ed. Christopher Holiday) University of Canterbury (July 11, 2020) 
• “Laughter in a Time of Plague” The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians Vol 29 No 5 (May/June 2020), 6-9
• “Studying Silence in Popular Culture” with Kathy Merlock-Jackson. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy (Summer, 2019), 24-37
• “Green Cartoon Images Have Consequences: Ecological Power of Short Animated Films” with William Brown in animation: an interdisciplinary journal (December 2019) 
• “Shall We Gather at the Movies?: Religious Hymns and the Evocative Experience of a Cinematic ‘Singing School Movement’ Part I” The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians (November 2019), 1, 5-10; “Shall We Gather Again?: Part II” (December 2019), 1, 4-9.
• “Laugh/Laughter: Christianity” and “Laugh/Laughter: Film” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception 15 (© Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/Boston 2017)
• “The Word Made Gag: Biblical Reception in Film Comedy” with Chris Lindvall Biblical Reception in Film (ed. Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch)(De Gruyter Press, 2016)
• “From Herod to the Crib: The Sacred Story in Thanhouser’s The Star of BethlehemThe Bible and the Moving Image (ed. David Shepherd) (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
• “Holy Dung: Comic Signs of Consubstantiality in Martin Luther Films” in Religions (February 2016) with Morgan Stroyeck.
•   “Embalmed Images: C. S. Lewis and the Art of Film” Inklings (Spring 2015) with Ben Fraser
•   “History of Film Comedy” and “Types of Film Comedy” in Encyclopedia of Humor Studies (ed. Salvatore Attardo) (Sage Publications, 2014), 520-528
• “Religion and Film” in Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies (ed. Krin Gabbard) (Oxford University Press, 2013)
• "A History of Evangelicals in North American Film Culture" Evangelical Christians and Popular Culture Volume 1 (ed. Robert H. Woods, Jr) (Praeger, 2013), 1-20
• “Assessing Predictions of Relational Prayer Theory II: Media and Interpersonal Inputs, Public and Private Prayer Processes, and Spiritual Health” with Jim Baesler, Journal of Southern Communication (Spring 2011)
• “God in the Saddle: Silent Western Films as Protestant Sermons” Australian Religious Studies Review 21: 3 (Spring 2009), 318-344.
• “Silent Film and Religion” John Lyden (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Film (Routledge, 2009)
Opening the Doors: Faith and Literature (ed.) (Boston: Beford/St. Martin Press, 2008)
• “Local Television Evening News” State of the Region: Hampton Roads 2008 (ed. James V. Koch) (Old Dominion University, 2008), 47-58
• "Cinema Virtue, Cinema Vice: Religion, Race, and Moving Picture Exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia, 1906-1922" (eds. George Potamianos and Kathryn Fuller) Beyond the Bowery: Cinema and Mass Entertainment in Small-Town America from its Origins through the Multiplex (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008)
• "Sundays in Norfolk: Toward a Protestant Utopia through Film Exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia, 1910-1920" in Going to the Movies: Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema (ed. Melvyn Stokes), (University of Exeter Press, 2008)
• “Film: From Church Reels to Digital Video” Understanding Evangelical Media: The Changing Face of Christian Communication (ed. Quentin Schultze) (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008)
• Johnston, Robert K. (ed) “Hollywood Chronicles: Toward an Intersection of Church History and Film History” Reframing Theology and Film (Baker Academic Press, 2007), 126-144
• With Brown, William and Keeler John “Audience Responses to The Passion of the ChristJournal of Media and Religion 6: 2 (2007), 87-107
• "O Cristão e a Cultura da Mídia de Entretenimento" Texto de Terrence R. Lindvall e Matthew Melton Adaptado pelo Setor de Educação Cristã (2006)
• “Film and Religion: A Review of the Literature, History and Theology” Communication Research Trends 24: 1 (2005), 1-42
• “Film and Religion: A Review of the Literature, Criticism and Pedagogy” Communication Research Trends 23: 4 (2004), 1-44
• "Images Have Consequences: The Impact of the Visual on the Word” in Charles Ess (ed.) Critical Thinking and the Bible in the Age of New Media (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2004)
• "Religion in the Marketplace of Silent Film" Mars Hill Tapes (Charlottesville, VA: Ken Myers Interview, February 2002)
• "The Organ in the Sanctuary: Silent Film and Paradigmatic Images of a Suspect Clergy" in Dane S. Claussen (ed.) Sex, Religion and Media (Boulder, Colorado: Rowman and Littlefield, February 2002).
• "The Late Great Planet Hollywood: The Apocalyptic Imagination in Popular Culture" Christianity and the Arts (Fall 1999), 31-34.
• "Darker Shades of Animation: African-American Images in the Warner Bros. Cartoons." Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation (ed. Kevin Sandler) (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, February 1998)
• "Les References au Cinema dans le Dessin Anime" in Cartoons and the Movies, edited by Jayne Pilling (Paris: Dreamland, 1997), 21-34
• “Spectacular Transcendence: Abundant Means in the Cinematic Representation of African-American Christianity" Howard Journal of Communication (September 1996) Religious Communication Article of the Year (RCA, 1997)
Recovering the Academy. (Virginia Beach: Liberty, Life and Family Press, 1995)
• "Telling Stories through Celluloid: The Congregational Church and Cinema." The Congregationalist 155: 2 (April/May/June 1995), 8-12
• "Toward a Postmodern Animated Discourse: Bakhtin, Intertextuality, and the Cartoon Carnival" Animation Journal. 3: 1 (Fall 1994) 44-63
• "Holy Architecture: Cinematic Images of the Church," in Beyond the Stars: Studies in American Popular Film (Bowling Green Press, 1993)
• "Lively and Animated Discourse: Self Receptivity and the Mere Cartoon" in A Rhetorical Analysis of Popular American Film, Marc T. Newman, ed., (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 1993)
• “The Faint Image of the Chaplain in Twentieth Century Combat Films” Military Chaplains’ Review (Spring 1987), 1-26
• “A Mark of Humor” Agora 4:4 (1980), 12-16
• Articles in Los Angeles Times, Christianity Today, The Door, The Virginian-Pilot, Portfolio,and other publications. 
• Book Reviewer for Choice Magazine for over 30 years 


• “Theology and Humor” Sixteen Part Online Video Series for Birdsong Lifelong Learning at Westminster Canterbury Retirement Community (Summer 2020); YouTube Series
• “After Hours with Terry Lindvall” Pints with Jack (December 17, 2020)
• “C. S. Lewis and the Woman He Loved, with Patti Callahan” (November 8, 2018) YouTube
C. S. Lewis: His Life, His Loves: 4-part DVD Series (Atlanta: CSI, 2010) YouTube Series:
• “Communication and Faith” Webinar (February 9, 2016) and “Christianity and Satire” Webinar (April 22, 2015), with Spring Arbor University CCSN
• Guest with Charles Stanley for 5-part Internet Web series on Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code (Spring 2006)
• Executive Producer Cradle of Genius DVD (Hastings-on the-Hudson: Newington-Cropsey Production, 2003); secured NCF grant of $700k.
• Executive Producer Regent Pictures DVD Volumes I-IV (2004)
• Executive Producer, over fifty films and media projects including numerous CINE Eagles and Golden Eagles and two National Student Academy Award Winners (Bird in a Cage, 1987; Turtle Races, 1989), ten Student Academy Award finalists, and films exhibited on PBS, HBO, CineMax, Showtime and Fox Network
• Critical Consultant on Prince of Egypt, with Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks, February-September, 1998
 • Co-Producer of PBS series on Regent at the Movies on WHRO (Norfolk, VA: 1997-1999) and Talent on Entertainment Review on Family Channel, (1996-2000) and Court TV “Tenure Issues at Regent University” (1995)


• Keynote Address “The Shroud of Cinema” Interdisciplinary Symposium Spaces of Memory University of Vienna (March 14-15) 
• Produced feature (96 minutes) documentary, Hollywood, Teach Us to Pray (2023) Premiere at NARO Art Theater, Norfolk, Virginia (March 2023)
• Received Christian Travel Grant of $45k from Frank and Aimee Batten Jr. for student trip to Enchanted Ireland November 2022
• Received Grant of $425k to produce a feature documentary film on my book, Hollywood Teach Us to Pray, from the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, Hastings-on-the-Hudson, 2021. Conducted interviews with Robert Duvall (The Apostle) and Robert Benton (Places in the Heart).
• Program Director: Study Abroad in Oxford: Lewis and Tolkien (Summer, 2021); secured Batten Travel Grant of $44k.
• Program Director: Study Abroad for Grimm Fairy Tale Route (Deutsche Märchenstraße) Summer 2022.
• Host Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (Winter/Spring 2021)
• Host Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene Online Zoom Book Club (Summer 2020)
• “Screwtape in Quarantine” Online Zoom Reading Group (Summer 2020)
• Program Director: Study Abroad in Oxford: Lewis and Tolkien (March 15-23, 2019); secured Grant of $46k.
• Keynote Speaker, National Association of Christian Congregational Churches Annual Conference, San Diego, June 28-30, 2018
• John Milton’s Paradise Lost Book Club Host (Virginia Beach, Summer 2018)
• Episcopal Program Director: Canterbury Pilgrimage: Edinburgh to Canterbury (May 19-28, 2018)
• Dante’s Inferno Book Club Host (Virginia Beach, Summer 2017)
• Centennial Keynote Speaker: Lee University (Tennessee) (April 2017)
• Program Director and Host Professor, British Reformation Trip (May 16-24, 2016); secured Batten Grant of $25k.
• Steering Committee “Birth of an Answer” ODU and Attucks Theatre (September 18, 2015)
• Program Director and Host Professor, German and Swiss Reformation Trip (March 15-23, 2015); secured Batten Grant of $35k
• Program Director and Host Professor, Oxford University Study (May 2015) secured Batten Grant of $25k
• Program Director and Host Professor, From Athens to Istanbul (January 2015) secured Batten Grant of $40k.
• Co-Director and Co-Host Professor (with Dr. Kathy Merlock-Jackson) Disney Culture in Disney World (Orlando, Florida)
• “Solace in Divine Laughter” in Bryan Nichols (ed.), The Man We Meet Along the Way: Essays on the Works of C.S. Lewis (Sycamore Press, 2014) 
• Louisville Institute Grant for $21,000 on “Cinematic Worship: Portrayals of Prayer and Hymns in Hollywood Films” (Lilly Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky, 2012)
• Teagle Grant on “The Pedagogy of Belief and Doubt” (University of Richmond, May 2007)
• Consultant Commonwealth of Virginia Commission for the Arts Advisory Panel (2003-2005); Consultant on Price of Egypt, Dreamworks; Templeton Foundation on MovieGuide Proposal (Fall 2001); Communication Consultant, Biola University, CA (2000); Rowan State College, NJ (1993); Columbia College, Columbia, SC (1993), Ketchum Public Relations, (1998)
• “Hollywood, Teach Us to Pray: Prayers in Hollywood Film” Speaker for University of Virginia 19th Annual Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA (October 2006)
• Wayne Kraise Distinguished Lecture Series Vanguard University (March 2002); Staley Distinguished Lecture Speaker at Evangel University and Trinity Christian University; Harvard University Forum Lecture (November 1995) (cf. Atlantic Monthly, November 1995)
• Regent University Faculty Member of the Year, 1992
• Founding Archivist, 16mm Film Collection of Animation and Religious Films, Regent University Library
• Board Member of National Conference of Christians and Jews; Youth Entertainment Studios; Mission Ministries
• Professional Member of Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Society of Animation Studies, University Film and Video Association, and Domitor. Lifetime Member of National Communication Association and Religious Communication Association
• Guest Speaker at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Harvard University, Yale University, University of Virginia, Calvin College, University College of London, Savannah College of Art and Design, and numerous other Universities and Colleges
 • Co-Programmer of Special Events, NARO Expanded Cinema, Virginia Festival of Film, Virginia Beach Friends of the Library Film Festival, City of Angels Film Festival, and other Festival programs
 • Recipient of Grants: Newington-Cropsey Foundation $700,000 for Entertainment/Education Film (2002); Family Channel $500,000 for Regent Pictures Endowment (1996); T & L R Grant. Regent Pictures $1,000,000 (1997); Steinfeld Film Grant $50,000 (1995); 8 Eastman Kodak Film Product Grants (1988-2002)

Marlins Give Thanks
Students and faculty share their thoughts on gratitude in time for Thanksgiving

Publisher's Desk: New Books by Terry Lindvall
VWC religious studies and communication professor brings religion, history and humor to recent trio of works