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Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church Paperback – September 4, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (September 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813543495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813543499
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,717,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Drawing on rich ethnographic data from his study of Oasis Christian Center in Hollywood, Gerardo Marti describes an emergent style of neo-Pentecostal worship and religious community that speaks to members of the 'creative class' of youthful Millennials who are in their 20s and early 30s. This cutting-edge analysis of where religion may be heading is theoretically sophisticated and yet highly readable.
(Donald E. Miller Executive Director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of S)

About the Author

Gerardo Marti is an assistant professor of sociology at Davidson College in North Carolina.

More About the Author

Gerardo Marti (PhD Sociology, University of Southern California) was honored with the L. Richardson King Professorship at Davidson College.

Active in several research collaborations, his research focuses on race-ethnicity, religion (especially religious innovation), identity, and social change. Follow him on Twitter - http://twitter.com/praxishabitus

More articles and reviews can be found here - https://davidson.academia.edu/GerardoMarti

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gordon W. Marchant on May 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I may be wrong. I truly HOPE that I am wrong. But, I suspect that some readers will not appreciate this book. It is academic. It includes sociological terminology. The scope of the author's research is to profile only one Californian church. It is definitely not a "how to" book, nor is it a particularly easy read.

Yet -- this is an EXCELLENT book. Here is the key to unlocking this book's value: "Hollywood Faith is not a comprehensive social history of Oasis, and it is not a how-to manual for spiritual revitalization. This book is a sociological interpretation of a church I believe IS SIGNIFICANT FOR UNDERSTANDING VITAL RELIGIOUS TRENDS TODAY" (page 19, emphasis mine).

For example - here's a trend. Throughout 2009, we have been dealing with a global recession. The bubble has burst. A critical question to be answered by Christian leaders today is: "How should our ministry adapt to the needs of our people during an economic time such as this?" Now, read: "Hollywood Faith". Here is a church where economic hardship and broken dreams has been a part of their context for years. These Christians "challenge laborers to reconsider their self-identity and their self-worth" (186). This Church has become a model of building authentic community among those who had huge dreams, but now are coming to terms with life's realities.

Other vital religious trends? Seeking as Christians to make a positive difference in reference to secular morality (e.g. Hollywood), rather than running and hiding from it. Or, developing multi-ethnic ministry that is truly welcoming and fun! Or, relating to 20-30's unchurched singles so that they feel connected to a local family.

Sincerely, thank you Gerardo for using the gifts God has given you. I cannot wait to read your next book!
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Format: Paperback
Part history, part ethnography, part economic analysis - this is a rare book about American religion amidst changing race relations, advanced capitalism, and evangelicalism. Marti shows himself in this book to be a sociologist with keen insight to where Christianity has been in the past 100 years and vivid insight to where it might be in the next hundred. Favorite chapters on a quick read: 1, 6, 8, & 9.

Table of Contents

Preface and Aknowledgements

1. Introduction: Negotiating Holiness and Hollywood
2. The Making of a Star: Hollywood as Destination and Dream
3. Love and Hate between Hollywood and Christianity
4. Save the World, Starting in Hollywood
5. Celebrity, Heartache, and the Pressure to Make It
6. Religion: Playing at a Theater Near You
7. Fade to Black
8. Becoming Champions of Life
9. Conclusion: Religion in the Era of Identity Commodification

Appendix: Research Methodology

Also check out A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church -- a new paperback edition is due 2009.
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