From Publishers Weekly
Until a few years ago, many faithful Christians saw popular culture the way the Dutch presumably see the oceanas a vast force to be kept at bay by any means necessary. That began to change with Tom Beaudoin's Virtual Faith, a heady mix of cultural analysis and theology. Fuller Theological Seminary alumni Detweiler and Taylor are the latest authors to call fellow Christians to take their thumbs out of the dike. Detweiler, producer of the City of the Angels Film Festival, and Taylor, a sound engineer with a roster of top clients, follow (ir)reverently in Beaudoin's wake, exploring the signs of a God-haunted generation in everything from Chris Ofili's dung-smattered Madonna to Jesus' appearance in South Park. Their book is ambitious in scope and smartly structured. Detweiler and Taylor begin with chapters on advertising and the role of celebrities, topics that other Christian commentators have generally ignored, and they are consistently alert to the commercial forces that drive pop culture's production and consumption. They are also witty, readable and passionate about both pop culture and their evangelical faith. But their cultural analysis borrows heavily from previous writers, and their claim to be discovering a "theology" of pop culture may surprise readers who expect a book from the Baker Academic imprint to engage its sources, whether Tom Beaudoin or Ned Flanders, with more critical rigor.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
Craig Detweiler (M.F.A., University of Southern California, School of Cinema/TV) is an accomplished screenwriter whose movies include Extreme Days. He is the codirector of Reel Spirituality, an annual international film roundtable conference, and adjunct professor at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center.
Barry Taylor (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary), adjunct professor of popular culture and theology at Fuller, is a professional musician, painter, and the leader of New Ground, an alternative worship gathering in Los Angeles.