Nina Butorac's new book, The World Transparent selects themes from the works of profound Christian thinkers, ranging from St. Paul, to St. Augustine, to Thomas Merton, and illuminates these themes by way of classic and top-drawer movies. Few of these films - old and new, foreign and domestic - were consciously created as conveyors of explicitly Christian ideas, but none wander far from human reality. So what emerges for the reader is an understanding of the powerful relevance of Christian thought to the universal plight of humanity. For the restless heart, the essential message of hope through Christ's two great commandments, love of God and love of neighbor, resonates in very page of this beautifully crafted work.
Lawrence Carmignani, PhC
University of Washington
The World Transparent is a well written work that utilizes the movies as modern-day parables to illustrate the many principal themes in our Christian faith. Nina Butorac presents a faithful interpretation of Church teachings on sin, virtue, grace, and redemption, while daring to go to the heart of sacramental theology. Our Christian identity, as sacramental bearers of Christ, is the essential theme that is named, challenged, and celebrated in the pages of this book, through the many examples of artful film. I highly recommend this work to teachers, students, pastors, parents, and individuals wishing to share and grow in their faith.
Daniel Syverstad, OP
Former Provincial, Western Dominican Province
Nina Butorac's The World Transparent is an excellent analyses of the art-form of story-telling through movies and the way in which cinema can “hold up a mirror” to the world and the human condition. She exhibits a deep knowledge of the tradition of the Catholic church with respect to the arts, sacraments, virtues and other theological matters and how they are treated in the world of film throughout the decades. The World Transparent provides insight into the ways in which the movies it treats reflect tensions in characters as they struggle, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to discern value in the world and their own place in it. Movies have an outstanding ability to tell stories that show the ways in which the divine is bursting forth into the world, and The World Transparent is an excellent resource for those who are interested in film studies.
Fr. Patrick Sherrard
We make so many decisions based on instincts and imagination, and only then use reason to justify them. We need a new engaging reflection that breaks us out of our bubbles. Nina Butorac's The World Transparent uses the language of movies to enlarge our reflection on life as it is and to enrich it with the richness of the Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition.
Xavier Lavagetto, OP
Director of the Catholic Community at Stanford