Sara Anson Vaux

Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies
Director, Office of Fellowships
Office: 1940 Sheridan Road, Room 20
Phone: (847) 491-2617

Vaux has a B.A. from Allegheny College, studied at University of Edinburgh, and received the Ph.D. from Rice University. She has done post-doctoral study at McCormick Theological Seminary and has taught courses on religion, literature and film at the University of Chicago, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, North Park Seminary, and Northwestern University (since 1998). Vaux has written on both the arts and issues in ethics including co-author of Dying Well in the Late Twentieth Century, Abingdon, 1996, "Suffering and healing in films," Christianity and the Arts, Summer 1999, and wrote Finding Meaning at the Movies, Abingdon, 1999. She has contributed an article to Nation and World, Church and God (Northwestern University Press, 2014), contributed essays to Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception 3, and written for the New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement (2011), as well as written a long essay for Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception (forthcoming in 2015). She teaches both general and specific topics on Religion and Film. Her research interests include the films of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Cannes Palme d'Or winners 1999 and 2005), and "Food and Film."

Selected Works

The Ethical Vision of Clint Eastwood, 2011.
Clint Eastwood is a Hollywood icon, with five Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and numerous other accolades for his work as an actor, director, producer, and composer. Yet because he rose to fame in "spaghetti westerns" and Dirty Harry shoot-em-ups, few critics have ventured to explore Eastwood's philosophical, ethical, and artistic agenda as an intellectual filmmaker.

Addressing this void, film scholar Sara Anson Vaux analyzes fifteen of Eastwood's best-known films from narrative, artistic, and thematic perspectives. She traces the nuanced development of Eastwood's unfolding moral vision over a forty-year continuum, showing how this vision has grown more sophisticated even as many of the motifs expressing it -- justice, confession, war and peace, the gathering, the search for a perfect world - have remained the same.

Finding Meaning at the Movies, Abingdon, 1999.

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March 20, 2015