December 5, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Outside the Box [Office], the USC Office of Religious Life, USC School of Religion, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Alliance for Inquiry and Reason, and Spot 82 Pictures invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

God in the Box

Written & Directed by Nathan Lang
Followed by a Q&A with Nathan Lang and Dr. Chip Murray, USC Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics, moderated by USC Dean of Religious Life, Varun Soni
7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
"One of the most interactive documentaries you'll ever see."
--Rabbi Bruce Lustig of Washington Hebrew Congregation
"God in the Box takes God out of the box of exclusivism, showing the inclusiveness of our spirits."
--Reverend Cecil Chip Murray, USC Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics and Former Senior Pastor First AME Church, Los Angeles
"It's the kind of film everyone -- even fundamentalists -- need to see."
--Senior Pastor Louis Zbinden, First Presbyterian Church

About God in the Box

Imagine walking up to a large, box on the street corner. On the side it reads, GOD IN THE BOX. Inside you find a stool, a drawing tablet a pencil and two questions. What does God mean to you? What does God look like to you? Your answers and illustrations are being recorded. What do you do?

God in the Box is a documentary film which takes you on a journey with filmmaker Nathan Lang and his crew, as they explore the diverse and curious ways we see God, in our mind's eye -- through the lens of their amazing Box.

Hundreds of people went inside The Box and answered the questions, as it traveled across the country, from California, through The Rocky's, The Heartland, The South, and The East, with its final stop on the corner of Central Park in New York City.
Director Nathan Lang interviews a fascinating collection of theologians, historians and a mythologist to help put the incredible body of answers and drawings into a meaningful context. Pastors, Priests, Rabbis, Imams and everyday people alike have raved about the film and the conversations it promotes. One cannot help but be transported inside The Box and explore his or her own views along with the ideas of all the others who go inside.

Provided courtesy of Spot 82 Pictures. Not rated. Running time: 82 minutes.

To learn more and to view the trailer, visit: http://godinthebox.com/

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/God-in-the-Box/41136201437


About the Guests

NATHAN LANG, Writer/Director

Nathan Lang grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Pitzer College, in Claremont, California with a degree in English. While there, he worked on short films, the college newspaper, and became a founding member of the Withoutabox improv and theater group, wetting his appetite for a life in visual media. A college internship in the newsroom at the CBS affiliate in San Antonio, would launch a 10-year-career as a TV news reporter, writer and producer. He worked for affiliate stations in Sioux Falls, Greensboro, New Orleans, San Antonio, Tampa and New York City. Nathan is president of Raindance Productions and a partner in Spot 82 Pictures. He is currently writing, directing and co-producing God in the Box.

CECIL L. "CHIP" MURRAY, USC Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics

Dr. Murray is a native Floridian with an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University.  He received his Doctorate in Religion from The School of Theology at Claremont and Doctor of Humane Letters from Hebrew Union College, University of Southern California, Antioch University, University of Judaism, and Whittier College. 

He has lectured and been adjunct professor of Iliff University, Seattle University, School of Theology Claremont, Fuller Seminary, and Northwest Theological Seminary. He has been featured in Time Magazine, Ebony Magazine, CNN, Network News, religious periodicals, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles 900, and other print and television media.

The members of Dr. Murray’s family begin with his devoted wife, Bermardine, and their one son, Rev. Drew David Murray. In 1977 Dr. Murray was assigned to First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest black church in Los Angeles. His new church family had 300 active members in 1977.  They received his vision to set a fire in the hearts of his members to be a church that extends beyond the walls.  The fire and spirit of love spread, and the congregation grew to 17,300 members. The ministry of the church fills the sanctuary with an awe-inspiring spiritual worship service and spills beyond the walls of the church with some 40 task forces that include health, substance abuse, homelessness, emergency food and clothing, general and specialized housing, tutoring, entrepreneurial training, employment services and the like. 

President George Bush named the First AME Church the 177th Point of Light for its courageous outreach in community services. The Hawthorne Shopping Plaza has included Dr. Murray in a sand sculpture as a tribute to African Americans who have overcome: George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King. The story of struggles and triumphs of African Americans cannot be told without including the pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, Rev. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray.

Rev. Murray retired in November 2004 as the senior minister at First AME Church, Los Angeles. Dr Murray currently serves as Professor, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Religion, University of Southern California and holds the Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics, University of Southern California.

VARUN SONI, Moderator, USC Dean of Religious Life

Varun Soni is the dean of religious life at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also a University Fellow at USC Annenberg's Center on Public Diplomacy and a member of the State Bar of California, the American Academy of Religion, and the Association for College and University Religious Affairs. He serves on the advisory board for the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, the Music Preservation Project, the Journal for Interreligious Dialogue, CrossCurrents, the Guibord Center, and the Parliament of the World's Religions. Prior to joining USC, he spent four years teaching in the Law and Society Program at UCSB. He also produced and hosted his own radio show on Pacifica (KPFK) showcasing music from South Asia and its diaspora. He holds degrees in religion from Tufts University, Harvard Divinity School, UCSB, and the University of Cape Town, as well as a law degree from UCLA School of Law.

Visit the USC Office of Religious Life website: http://orl.usc.edu/

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu