Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« Compendium of official Catholic teaching selling briskly. Where is the MSM? | Main | Ignatius Press: Promoter of Big, Greedy, Corporate Gnosticism? »

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Deacon John M. Bresnahan

Finally, a DVD that looks like it can be used in adult education--or the new in phrase "adult faith formation". There have been dozens of tapes and videos taking Brown's theme and running with it available around here, but nothing defending the Church or Christianity, or giving the real scoop on DaVinci. When there is a hot issue in the news (a teachable moment we called it before I retired from teaching history) Catholic publishers should get a video out FAST, not years after the issue has become virtually past events instead of current events. Now how long will it be before we get a video answer to The Judas non-gospel Gospel????

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

Note: Who is putting out this video??Ignatius, I would guess. How to order it?? Is it available in Catholic bookstores yrt? (Or for order from there)?? Will it be delivered in time before release of movie (May19)????

Mark Brumley

Deacon, it is available from Ignatius Press. To order the DVD online, you can just click on the image above. To order by phone, you can call 1-800-651-1531.

Sandra Miesel

Teaser: my part was filmed against a stained glass window of St. Elijah because Fr. Pacwa wants to make a comparison between fighting TDVC and Elijah fighting the priests of Baal.

Carl Olson

And my (interview) part was filmed in a back room across the street from the IP offices, overlooking the University of San Francisco soccer field.


Good job, seems to be sold out!




But when will that El Pierro guy (or whatever his name is)come here and accuse you of cashing in? lol

Carl Olson

Joe: Don't feel too bad; I haven't seen a copy of the DVD yet either. But I've been told that copies are in the warehouse or will be in the next few days.

Mark Brumley

I'd like to raise an issue for discussion. I am often perplexed by the "cashing in" objection when it comes to publishing or producing a work on a popular subject.

Is it morally objectionable to publish a quality book or produce a quality video on a topic of great interest to the general public? The way the "cashing in" objection is often tossed around you would think it is.

But is it?

Someone might argue that a particular book or video isn't really "quality work" and therefore to publish or produce it to respond to popular interest is just moneygrubbing. But suppose the work truly is a worthy contribution to the discussion of a popular issue. Or suppose the people who create it at least think it is. Is publishing or producing such a work to respond to the popular interest somehow unethical?

If someone were to publish a work, regardless of the quality of the work, for the sole purpose of making money and not at all for the purpose of contributing something the publisher or producer regards as helpful, it would seem to me that that would be "cashing in", in an unethical sense.

But how if the purpose is otherwise? If the purpose is to pick up on a popular theme and address it with a worthwhile work? Surely a book publisher or video producer is not morally obliged to create works that ignore popular concerns and focus only on unpopular ones?

There is one area in which, it seems to me, that the creation of even a quality work under the aforementioned circumstances might be questionable. Note I say "might". That is when there are already works on the market that adequately address a topic. Does the introduction of yet another work amount to an unethical "cashing in"?

If the additional work adds something unavailable in works already adequately addressing a topic, it would seem that producing such a work is not "cashing in". On the other hand, to publish a work that doesn't truly contribute anything new or provide something significantly different from what is otherwise available, might be questionable. Is it "cashing in"?

That scenario isn't exactly the same as publishing a work without regard for its quality, solely for the purpose of making money. At the same time, the work in question isn't "needed". Does this make publishing or producing it morally objectionable?

Or is publishing and producing like other kinds of business in this regard?

The grocer may strive to provide the best produce to his customer. But the fact that he doesn't and that the customer can get the same thing or better at the store down the road doesn't mean the grocer is ethically obliged to close up shop. Or does it?

Your thoughts are welcome.


In your case as a religious books publisher, I look at the 'cashing in' charge as an opportunity to evangelize and defend the truth of the Faith. Look at the Opus' reaction: it's created a website to inform people to know more and many of its members have created blogs/websites to inform the curious about the day to day reality of their lives within Opus.

So I don't get too bent out of shape as if book publishing as a 'pure' activity that suddenly becomes grubby if a publisher prints books and other reading materials on the issues of the day.

I've always appreciated the beauty of your company's bookcovers :)

Cristina A. Montes

A similar discussion on "cashing in" has ensued in the mailing list of the local C.S. Lewis group here in the Philippines that I'm part of. Some persons have raised the question on whether the recent Narnia movie commercializes C.S. Lewis' fiction. My response was -- and I know it would sound controversial, but I just can't think of a more graceful way of putting it -- there's nothing wrong with commercialization of "The Chronicles of Narnia" per se, because it popularizes the series and introduces good literature. In fact, I commented that more than commercializing "The Chronicles of Narnia", the production of the movie is actually an effort to sanctifying the movie industry. Maybe the same thing could be said about what Ignatius Press is doing -- rather than cashing in on the TDVC phenomenon, Ignatius PRess is helping sanctify the book publishing industry. Furthermore, the hard reality is that people need to make a living. It's good that people make money out of publishing good books, because without the money incentive, nobody will write or publish books that the public needs to read. I remember having commented at our C.S. Lewis mailing list that if no one commercially exploited "The Chronicles of Narnia" by publishing it, and the draft was simply left to rot among C.S. Lewis' papers, we wouldn't be enjoying it now.

I also commented during the discussion on the commercialization of NArnia that there is a bad way of commercially exploiting a popular book -- for example, adding a sex scene in the cinematic version even if there was no sex scene in the source material on the dubious theory that sex sells. In the case of the book publishing industry, I think a bad way of "cashing in" on trends is to water down truths or to twist the truth or to write only things that will sell. But I don't think this is what Ignatius PRess is doing. As I've previously commented in this blog, if Carl and Sandra really wanted to cash in on the TDVC phenomenon, they would not have risked unpopularity by criticizing TDVC. Instead, they would write things like "The DVC Theme PArty Book" (My friend has a "STar Wars Party Book", with instructions on how to make Storm Trooper cupcakes and a Death Star pinata. I'm certain the author of the "STar WArs PArty Book" wanted to cash in on the "Star WArs" phenomenon, although I dare say that I think the idea of a "Star WArs" theme party is cool! I wouldn't say the same thing about a TDVC theme party, though, so I hope no one gets an idea.)

I would also like to say that I WANT the people who write books I like to earn money writing those kinds of books, so that more of those kinds of books get written. I frequently campaign to create the demand for the supply of good books.

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

Mark--how can educators use the "teachable moments" educational philosophy if publishers and video makers are afraid of being accused of "cashing in." I started looking in video stores and Catholic stores years ago for a strong, quality, ILLUSTRATED (more than talking heads--I can be a talking head, for free) that would strongly refute the DaVinci Code. There were plenty of illustrated, quality, very interesting videos saying the same thing as the DaVinci Code, but even Catholic bookstores told me they knew of nothing was available from a Catholic or Christian persepective. I bet the media pipeline knew about The Judas Gospel long before it hit the streets. Some Catholic outfit should have had an answer ready for immediate release. This is media war--and we are getting regularly nuked.

Plato's Stepchild

"I'd like to raise an issue for discussion. I am often perplexed by the "cashing in" objection when it comes to publishing or producing a work on a popular subject."

In the main, the episcopate has been so woeful in their defence of the Catholic Church, that I really cannot see how the charge of "cashing in" can be made to stick. I wish more faithful, orthodox Catholics would try to "cash in" -- maybe then we'd have more success in evangelising the culture.


"Cashing in," of course, is the epithet of choice for those who understand neither the free market nor te motivations of those who enter it with noble purposes.

Quite simply, an enterprise must profit to exist. Most enterprises also exist to profit and, provided this pursuit is undertaken within an ethical framework, is nothing over which to lose sleep. A going concern like Ignatius Press, however, exists not to profit, but to help shepherd souls. But, if it is to remain a going concern, it must generate some profit to keep operating. That is, it must produce the means to sustain itself and remain viable in the open market.

I suspect very few people at Ignatius are poring over beachfront real estate brochures.


Mark Brumley

Your suspicion is correct.







The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad