Religion and Popular Culture in America

ISBN-10: 0520246896

ISBN-13: 9780520246898

Edition: 2nd 2005 (Revised)

Authors: Bruce David Forbes, Jeffrey H. Mahan

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The connections between American popular culture and religion is the subject of this multifaceted and innovative collection. Ranging from religious themes in cowboy fiction to Madonna's "Like a Prayer," from televangelism to the world of sports, the book's contributors offer fascinating insights into what popular culture reveals about the nature of American religion today. Bruce David Forbes provides an introductory essay that states the book's organizing principles. The first group of essays examines the appearance of explicit religious content or implicit religious themes in popular culture, focusing on such particulars as Christmas television specials and the fiction of Louis L'Amour and Cormac McCarthy. The second group of essays considers ways that popular culture influences traditional religions, especially evangelical Christianity. A third group illustrates how aspects of popular culture develop their own myths, symbol systems, and ritual patterns; included are discussions of "Star" "Trek" fandom, women's weight loss rituals, and sports. The fourth group offers examples of ways that religion and popular culture might critique each another: the disguise of vengeance in "Pale Rider," rap music's take on African-American Christian theology, and a Christian feminist perspective on the role of gender in cyberspace. Jeffrey H. Mahan's concluding essay looks at the academic and general audiences engaged in discussions of social and cultural reform.
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/17/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 340
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232

Bruce David Forbes is Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Jeffrey H. Mahan is Associate Professor of Ministry, Media, and Culture at Iliff School of Theology in Denver and coauthor of Shared Wisdom: A Guide to Case Study Reflection in Ministry (1993).

Preface to the Revised Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction: Finding Religion in Unexpected Places
Religion in Popular Culture
The Oriental Monk in American Popular Culture
Consecrating Consumer Culture: Christmas Television Specials
Re-Mythologizing the Divine Feminine in The Da Vinci Code and The Secret Life of Bees
Like a Sermon: Popular Religion in Madonna Videos
Popular Culture in Religion
Evangelicals and Popular Music: The Contemporary Christian Music Industry
The Internet and Christian and Muslim Communities
The Cross at Willow Creek: Seeker Religion and the Contemporary Marketplace
Popular Culture as Religion
It's about Faith in Our Future: Star Trek Fandom as Cultural Religion
Losing Their Way to Salvation: Women, Weight Loss, and the Salvation Myth of Culture Lite
An American Apotheosis: Sports as Popular Religion
The Church of Baseball, the Fetish of Coca-Cola, and the Potlatch of Rock 'n' Roll
Religion and Popular Culture in Dialogue
The Disguise of Vengeance in Pale Rider
Rap Music and Its Message: On Interpreting the Contact between Religion and Popular Culture
The Gender Dynamics of the Left Behind Series
Conclusion: Establishing a Dialogue about Religion and Popular Culture
Discussion Questions
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