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Everyday Apocalypse Paperback – December 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (December 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158743055X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587430558
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,020,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Apocalypse"-as a genre and as a mind-set-is commonly misunderstood, as something hidden in the back of the Bible and characterized by a gnostic or nihilistic disdain for anything earthly or human. So says Dark, a teacher of English at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, arguing persuasively that genuine apocalypse, informed by Scripture and the rest of biblical tradition, isn't hidden. It can be seen in books and music and on screens large and small. As the first chapter argues, apocalypse isn't primarily about destruction or fortune telling, but about the future pushing into the present, "cracking the pavement of the status quo... announcing a new world of unrealized possibility." The remaining chapters report on what Dark sees as he looks at pop culture through the wide-angle lens of God's ultimate purposes for all of creation. Dark is a close reader not only of pages (Shakespeare and Flannery O'Connor), but tunes (Radiohead and Beck), and film (Truman Show and The Matrix). He is a wide, wise, and good reader, and this book shows him also to be a fine writer - illuminating, engaging, often funny, sometimes disturbing. Familiarity with the cultural phenomena to which he points is helpful, but not necessary. Throughout he helpfully gestures toward others with apocalyptic eyeglasses: poets, theologians, critics, celebrities. If readers allow the book to do its work, they, too, will acquire what he calls "apocalyptic acumen" or "imaginative magnanimity."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

"God gave David Dark a gift-the ability to inhale copious amounts of movies, literature, and articulate rock music, sieve it through the lungs of his spiritually discerning mind and soul, and then exhale it full of the sweetest Biblical wisdom and understanding as to where faith and culture caress and collide. He has been doing this in my living room for years. And now another gift from God-David Darks gift is available to everybody." -Steve Stockman, author of Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2

"David Dark presents us with an alternative way of seeing-with apocalyptic expectations-that is fresh, inviting, and laced with biblical insight. Everyday Apocalypse charts a course through a range of popular artworks, revealing unexpected surprises along the way while opening new avenues for understanding film, fiction, television programs, and popular music." -William D. Romanowski, author of Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture

"David Dark's key insight in this book is that the apocalyptic vision doesn't heed our usual distinctions between "high" and "pop" culture; he therefore follows the trail of apocalypse wherever it leads-through movies, TV, music, and fiction-and he does so with flair, aplomb, and a determination to consider the whole of human culture in light of the enigmatic and overwhelming Jesus of John's own Apocalypse. Everyday Apocalypse is a fine ride." -Alan Jacobs, author of A Visit to Vanity Fair

"Apocalyptic is not religious fantasy about the future, but a window on the present in the light of the future. David Dark has turned it into a powerful tool for cultural criticism. Literary history and contemporary media are used to throw light on one another. Not many authors can successfully put Beck and John Donne together in the same sentence. Above all, significant examples of contemporary literature, television, music, and film are reviewed, not to show how morally bad they are, but to allow them to show us our reality, if we are willing to be shown it. Highly recommended." -Rt. Reverend Graham Cray

David Dark has published articles and reviews in Prism magazine and Books & Culture. He teaches English at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville


More About the Author

David Dark is the critically acclaimed author of Everyday Apocalypse and The Gospel According to America and is an educator who is currently pursuing his PhD in Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. He has had articles published in Paste, Oxford American, Books and Culture, Christian Century, among others. A frequent speaker, Dark has also appeared on C-SPAN's Book-TV and in an award-winning documentary, Marketing the Message. He lives with his singer-songwriter wife, Sarah Masen, and their three children in Nashville.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mennonite Medievalist on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
David Dark's book is an encouraging one for Christians, reminding us that an accurate understanding of reality is our birthright---ironically, this 'accurate understanding' consists of apocalypse, or, the irreducibly mysterious hope toward which all reality points. Reading this book refreshes the hope we have in Jesus, even as Dark discusses chiefly non-Christians who, in his view, see apocalypse clearly, since a clear rendering of apocalypse is always commensurate with the mysterious redemptive hope-through-suffering of the cross. It does seem odd that he finds so few Christian artists worth a chapter in his book. Dark revels in the goodness and unexpectedness of reality, and the goodness and unexpectedness of the God it reveals.
Dark concerns himself with contemporary media. Through unusual juxtapositions (Bakhtin on medievalism, Swift, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky are quoted in a chapter on the Simpsons), he reminds us that contemporary genres treat truth best when they enter a conversation as old as humankind---a conversation describing the mysteries of redemption, hope, and joy in reality. This looting the wisdom of the ages eliminates a sense of background, brings all truth to the fore----a strategy which accurately depicts the universality of Dark's subject (and the subject of his subjects).
I have some concerns with his claim that authors should confine themselves to mere description of the way things are, avoiding mastery or domination of message and material. The semantic realms of description, interpretation, judgment, and mastery require blurred boundaries, or at least more clearly nuanced ones, to be of any practical use. Writing a book implies some "domination" of a subject, although humility can remove any offense from organisation's claim to authority.
Dark's prose is clear enough and profound, in some places dull, in others quite memorable.
He reads the wise interpreters.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S. Hollis on November 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
David Dark has written a book that will open eyes. Reclaiming the word apocalyptic and taking back its true meaning, his examples of the spiritual in our pop culture are diverse and pertinent. I have already had several good conversations with people about the concepts David brings forth in this book. I highly recommend this book to Christians who want to be in this world, but not of this world.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Some reviewers tend to find Dark's prose directionless, but I found quite the opposite to be true. David is certainly a student of the intracacies of prose, and for me that opened up a whole new world of ideas. Reminds me very much of G.K. Chesterton's style. I wonder if Mr. Dark has ready any Chesterton. Given his stunning breadth of knowledge in the written word, I'm sure he has.
Didn't quite understand a sentence? Re-read it carefully to see how each sentence lends itself to the next. Despite its intracacies, this is a book whose message transcends the sum of its parts. Reccomended to anyone who is interested in making the radical assertion that Christ is Lord, and anyone willing to see a truer reflection of what Christ-following and Christian culture should entail, rather than what the mainstream media is willing to depict.
By the way, since when was Flannery O'Connor a pop-culture icon?!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melocoton on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Any author that quotes NT Wright, Wendell Berry and Flannery O'Connor is going to be of interest to me. One of the plugs on the back cover is that the author is able to ingest vast amounts of material (pop culture and classical) and "exhale it full of the sweetest biblical wisdom and understanding...." I could see that and that is the strongest part of the book. Published in 2002, it read like its time - Iraq war aftermath, housing bubble, etc. Dark explains what he means of "apocalypse" as epiphany or revelation, the moment you see the world as it really is. This is a wonderful and exciting concept. The author goes thru various pop culture icons, some more convincing than others. Flannery O'Conner is brilliant but I don't think of her as "pop culture." Radiohead and Beck have some interesting thoughts in their songs. The Simpsons are critical, in a funny way, of organized religion. Still, I don't find that transcendent, just clever. The Matrix is one of the most apocalyptic movies ever and probably the best way to think of what Dark is getting at. In the movie, Neo's understanding comes to a radical change when he meets Morpheus. His priorities totally change and his old understanding of purpose and meaning become incredibly small. Instead of the day-to-day pressures of work, relationships and so forth, he realizes there is a great battle that he has only heard/seen glimpses of in the past.

I liked most of the "icons" Dark goes thru. However, many of the chapters just sort of go thru lyrics of songs, scenes of movies making comments. Dark doesn't necessarily weave it all in together in a memorable way.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Every once in a while a book like Everyday Apocalypse comes along which challenges the way I think. Reading it forced me to question some of my normally unquestioned assumptions. After only one reading it's difficult for me to summarize my feelings about it. There's much too much to digest in one sitting. But I can freely say that Everyday Apocalypse is original, poignant, insightful, and very entertaining, and Dark's fresh analysis of some of my favorite pop icons and his challenge to see the world in a different way remain on my mind long after I put this book down. For those reasons alone it is worth 5 stars.
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