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Don't Stop Believin': Pop Culture and Religion from <i>Ben-Hur</i> to Zombies Paperback – October 13, 2012
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"Rejecting the tendency to see the spiritual as made of a different quality than the popular, Robert Johnston, Craig Detweiler, and Barry Taylor invite us--in fact, usher us--into spiritual themes that have shaped American, and world, culture over the last half century. Don't Stop Believin' is a fast-paced, timely dictionary of popular, meaningful spiritual vitality." Doug Pagitt, pastor, radio host, and author of A Christianity Worth Believing
"Ranging widely and wisely across the panoply of people, places and events that defined the heart and soul of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, this is a spiritual tour de force about the things that have shaped our histories and defined our context of culture and meaning." J. Walker Smith, Executive Chairman, The Futures Company; author of Generation Ageless
"This fantastic collection of essays (more like conversation starters, really) encourages us to take a deeper look at the popular entertainment that our world enjoys--because we just might find God there. If a contemporary apostle Paul had to defend the faith on a modern-day Mars Hill, I'd recommend he refer to this book for a quick update about how our culture reflects what we believe." Dean Batali, Writer/Producer, That '70s Show and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
About the Author
Robert K. Johnston is Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue and Finding God in the Movies: 33 Films of Reel Faith, and editor of Reframing Theology & Film: New Focus for an Emerging Discipline.
Craig Detweiler is Associate Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University. He is the editor of Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God; the author of Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century; and coauthor (with Barry Taylor) of A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture.
Barry Taylor is Adjunct Professor of Popular Culture and Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and coauthor (with Craig Detweiler) of A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture. He is a professional musician, painter, and the leader of New Ground, an alternative worship gathering in Los Angeles.
Top Customer Reviews
As a fan of pop culture and a student of religious studies (I have an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from McGill University), I can honestly say there wasn't anything in this book that I didn't already know. I didn't learn anything new or gain new insights or perspective. I don't think that's as much an endorsement of my body of knowledge as it is an indictment of the lack of depth presented in this book. If I were grading it, I would check the box that says, "Fails to meet expectations." Such a shame.
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from Edelweiss (Above the Tree Line). I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
The first 15 articles sketch out what the 50s are about. It is a time where families are more closely knitted, coming together to watch TV sitcoms like "I Love Lucy" and "Father Knows Best." It is time of growing awareness of a need for greater equality, especially race and gender. This gives rise to rebellious symbols such as JD Salinger's counter-cultural "Catcher in the Rye" or Elvis Presley's Rock and Roll against a culture of uptight, prim-and-proper Pleasantville atmosphere.Read more ›
Some of the entries had the virtue of often being so obscure that I was totally unaware of the subject, such as "Banksy", a London graffiti artist. Unfortunately, the information provided was minimal. There were neither pictures nor references to where one may find more information. For me, the other end of the spectrum was The Lord of the Rings and J. R. R. Tolkien, about which I knew volumes.
But there were only two such entries, and dozens on which I know far more than what was in the book. Most were like "Goth" and "Left Behind". I never read any of the "Left Behind" books, but I have heard enough about them that I could write a paragraph about them.
Aside from the use of this in my course, it's best use might be for either kids, or as the source of trivia questions, or some other party game.
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.