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James Ault

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Location: Northampton, Massachusetts USA

Institution: James Ault Productions & Hartford Seminary

Contact: Homepage E-Mail

I am the producer/director of African Christianity Rising, a two-part documentary film series exploring Christianity's explosive growth in Africa and filmed intimately in Ghana and Zimbabwe (as well as following some of our characters on visits to North America). This extensive ethnographic project was funded by Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation and sponsored by Hartford Seminary. The series was just released in 2013.

I am originally a student of society and culture trained in comparative historical methods by Barrington Moore at Harvard and in phenomenological/ethnographic ones by Egon Bittner at Brandeis where I earned my Ph.D. in Sociology in 1981. I went on to become a documentary filmmaker with my first film, Born Again, an intimate portrait of a Jerry Falwell-inspired fundamentalist Baptist church, a film that won significant awards and was broadcast as a national prime-time special on PBS, on C4 in the UK and around the world. My book on that project, Spirit and Flesh (Knopf 2004), was named one of the five best nonfiction books of the year by the Christian Science Monitor and called by Nicholas Wolterstorff of Yale Divinity School "easily the best account of the inner workings of a fundamentalist community that has ever been written." I am currently writing a book on my African Christianity Rising project that will, in its E-book edition, have links to project video embedded in its text. For more about this work visit the project's webpage here:

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