Caleb Brown

Caleb Brown

Screenwriter and CEO at The Story Locker

Watching Movies with St. Thomas Aquinas

Ludwig Wittgenstein said there was more wisdom in detective stories than in philosophy journals, but he might have mentioned movies too. Movies conform to life-as-lived more readily than ethical theories, and the study of cinematic stories can advance our understanding of morality in ways that the study of philosophy cannot. This seminar mines the ethical heart of four films and connects their themes to St. Thomas Aquinas’s teachings on the virtues of faith, hope, and love. Students will learn how plot design, visual design, and sound design not only convey thematic material–but how these same techniques might also help us better understand the virtuous life. Seminars will last from 7:00-9:30pm. Selections from Josef Pieper’s Faith, Hope, and Love will be discussed. To receive copies of the readings, please contact

May 18: The Book of Eli: Faith v. Blindness of Mind
June 1: Good Will Hunting: Faith v. Unbelief
June 15: Shawshank Redemption: Hope v. Despair
June 29: Mean Girls: Charity v. Discord

All class readings taken from Josef Pieper, Faith, Hope and Love