Documentary about former Wheaton professor premieres

On Monday Sept. 24 the documentary film “Same God: Embodied Solidarity Comes at a Price,” featuring former Associate Professor Larycia Hawkins, premiered at the LA Film Festival. This premiere sold out and was followed the next night by an encore showing in Santa Monica.

Two final showings of the film are scheduled for Oct. 18 in New Orleans and Oct. 25

in Chicago. According to the promotional website, the documentary “follows the journey of Dr. Hawkins while exploring the polarization taking place within the evangelical community over issues of race, Islam, religious freedom … and Donald Trump.”

The name “Same God” comes from the Facebook post written by Hawkins in 2015 that set off the controversy leading to her departure from the college. In the post, she wrote, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian are people of the book. And, as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

The film is directed by Wheaton alumna Linda Midgett (92’) who has won two Emmys on past films. Other alumni involved in the film include executive producers Kathleen Bolthouse Treat, 92’, and David Vanderveen, who studied at Wheaton but received his degree from Calvin College.

The film’s trailer features excerpts from Hawkins as well as comments from students and faculty from Wheaton, including Professor of Theology George Kalantzis. In a Facebook post on Aug. 26, 2018 Midgett wrote that “as major news outlets covered the 2-month long controversy, and as bloggers and social media debated whether Muslims and Christians worship the same god, I began to wonder something more provocative: Do evangelicals worship the same god?” This question was her inspiration for the film.

Director of Media Relations LaTonya Taylor provided a statement from the college in an email to the Record: “We are aware of the documentary, Same God, which, according to advance publicity, addresses events surrounding the 2016 parting of ways between Wheaton College and Dr. Larycia Hawkins. Wheaton College sincerely appreciates Dr. Hawkins’ contributions to the College during her nine years of service. The College hopes that conversations around the film will be marked by charity and grace.”

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