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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.
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.See all Editorial Reviews
The principle behind this book is pretty ideal, but I feel like the book constantly repeats the redundant theme. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Caleb
Detweiler and Taylor has written a resourceful book. It is informative on the development and social effects of popular culture. Read morePublished on May 9, 2008 by Amazon Customer
"A Matrix of Meanings," although somewhat outdated, did a fair job at breaking down the common aspects of pop culture and analyzing them a post-modern secular and Christian world... Read morePublished on June 30, 2007 by J. Tennant
Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor have bettered and deepened their theology, their knowledge of the Creator of life, and have shared insights from their discovery in their recent... Read morePublished on March 31, 2004 by Nick