After being named Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, Crystal Downing accepted a position as Co-Director of the Marion E. Wade Center and co-holder of the Marion E. Wade Chair in Christian Thought at Wheaton College: a position she shares with her husband, David C. Downing.
Crystal’s first book, Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy L. Sayers (Palgrave 2004), was granted the Barbara Reynolds Award for best Sayers scholarship in 2009 by the international Dorothy L. Sayers Society. Her next two books, How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith and Changing Signs of Truth (IVP Academic 2006 & 2012), explore the relationship between cultural studies and Christianity and continue to be studied by graduate students in seminaries around the world. Crystal’s fourth book, Salvation from Cinema: The Medium Is the Message (Routledge 2016), assesses the field of “religion and film,” encouraging people of faith to acquaint themselves with film theory in order to better understand movies—not only as cultural statements but also as works of art. In addition to her books, Crystal has published nearly eighty essays on topics ranging from the Amish to Jane Austen, and her literary criticism appears in eight critical editions of canonical texts. Delivering nearly fifty juried papers at professional conferences, she has also been invited to serve as a keynote speaker at over thirty conferences in North America and Europe. In her rare leisure time, Crystal enjoys hiking or bicycling through rural countryside, climbing up waterfalls, and exploring distinctive architecture.