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Jesus in Disneyland: Religion in Postmodern Times Paperback – July 26, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0745614892 ISBN-10: 0745614892

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Polity (July 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745614892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745614892
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,744,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'This is an excellent book. I can't believe that anyone would wantto teach about contemporary religion or about postmodernity withoutrecommending this book and using it as a springboard for their owndiscussions.' Alan Bryman, Professor of Social Research,Loughborough University

'Readers familiar with David Lyon's previous work will find inJesus in Disneyland the same combination of theoretical awareness,perceptive comment and accessibility that makes his writing sovaluable to all those interested in the nature of religion in themodern world. The book elucidates the subtle shift in the world ofreligion from obligation to consumption - a state of affairs thatwe need to know more about.' Grace Davie, Senior Lecturer inSociology, University of Exeter

'The writing is clear and filled with a number of engagingillustrations ... there is a great deal that I very much enjoyedwithin this book.' LJK, Regent's Reviews

'This interesting book explores the implications ofpostmodernity on religion. At the same time it questions thecentrality of the secularization thesis in sociology of religion aswell as calling for reflexivity as a more central aspect ofsociological endeavour.' British Journal of Sociology

'The book is engaging and well-written - that academic rarity, a"good read".' Theology Today

'This is a beautifully written, imaginative and stimulatingaccount of the place of religion in postmodernity ... a work ladenwith richness, a freshness of insight and a sense of immediacy.'Journal of Contemporary Religion

"Jesus in Disneyland:Religion in Postmodern Times is ahighly distinctive and fresh commentary on contemporary religionand late modernity by David Lyon, a writer able to embrace thepostmodern cultural turn with gusto and panache." EuropeanJournal of Social Theory

"This work provides the most insightful understanding of thecontemporary context for this field of study" Daryl Healea,Religious Studies Review"This book will provide a fruitful wayof grasping some of the fortunes of religion in this postmodernera." Stimulus

From the Back Cover

In this lively and accessible study, David Lyon explores therelationship between religion and postmodernity, through thecentral metaphor of 'Jesus in Disneyland.' Contemporarydisciples of Jesus have used Disneyland for religious events,whilst Disney characters are now probably better known throughoutthe world than many biblical figures. But this book cautionsagainst seeing it as a simple substitution. Rather, Lyon shows howthis metaphor reveals highly innovative and potentially enduringfeatures of contemporary spiritual quests.

In the West, many religious institutions have declined in socialsignificance, but what Lyon calls the religious realm, includingfaith and spirituality, is flourishing in multifarious forms.Throughout the text he examines a wide variety of religious andpara-religious behaviour, exploring its relation to issues ofidentity, cyberculture, consumer culture and social theories oftime. Lyon's stimulating use of contemporary case studiesilluminates the interconnections between religion and postmodernityin a world where holy wars are waged in cyberspace, New Age selfreligions resonate with new identity quests, and Pentecostalismsparks globalization from below.

This book will be essential reading for students and scholars inthe sociology of religion, sociology of culture, social theory,religious studies and theology.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Turnau on February 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've been interested in the postmodern for a while now (metanarratives, floating signifiers and all that). But this book has changed the way I look at it. For one thing, David Lyon is less interested in rarified philosophical discussions than he is in investigating the social structures in which we live. He's less interested in the ivory tower discussions on postmodernism than in our shared cultural and social context -- where we actually live.

David Lyon is a Christian sociologist who has studied religion for decades, and so he approaches the subject matter as a sympathetic professional. He has also done a lot of work on the idea of postmodernity and information technologies (especially how new technologies enable surveillance). He has a knack for drawing on a wide range of scholarship, and making subtle and complex ideas accessible for the intelligent non-expert. His book on secularization from 1985, The Steeple's Shadow, has helped me more than any other single book in understanding the social dynamics of this secular age (and he covers some of the same ground in Jesus in Disneyland). He made the effect of modernity on religion clearer. In Jesus in Disneyland, he provides the same, useful service here, but in regard to postmodernity rather than moderntiy.

He begins his analysis by telling about a Christian event held at Disneyland at Anaheim, California, USA. Some saw an unholy mingling of the holy with the secular, of the Savior with the Mouse. The participants saw it as a way of using a popular venue to reach others for Christ. Who was right? Does using Disneyland trivialize the faith, or make it more accessible to seekers? The answer, which he spends the rest of the book unraveling, is, of course, "Yes"- that is, both are true.
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7 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Derek Martin on December 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I understand that alot of people like this book but I don't think that I should have to be subjected to the torture of reading through this whole text. I had the opportunity of reading just one chapter of this book and it would not have mattered if I had read the whole book. Lyon is repititive and boring and honesltly, I couldn't the book aloud without the temptation to fall asleep. I can't give a book to read instead but I can tell you a book to stay away from. That book is Jesus in Disneyland. This book could have been summarized in 5 paragraphs, not over 100 pages. He says something on one page and then says the exact same thing on the other page except he uses new sociological ways of saying. I think I can speak for all of my classmates when I say, I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME!
A budding undergraduate,
Derek Martin
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