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Pop Goes Religion: Faith in Popular Culture Paperback – November 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849909988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849909986
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Terry Mattingly writes the syndicated "On Religion" column for the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C. that appears in about 350 newspapers nationwide, and is associate professor of media and religion at Palm Beach Atlantic College. He also is a senior fellow for journalism at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Mark Joseph has had a varied career as as an entertainment executive, writer and multi-media broadcaster including as a host/reporter for CNN's "The Entertainment Report," NHK, and FM Tokyo. His writing has appeared in a number of publications including Beliefnet, Christianity Today, The Jewish Press, Billboard and the National Review. He is the author of three books including Faith, God & Rock 'n' Roll. He is currently co-producing the Inspired by The Passion of the Christ official rock sountrack for the movie.

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Customer Reviews

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Reporters do things like that."
FaithfulReader.com
Take the history of church in these areas and great cultural contributors did their work from within, and went on to influence the culture somewhat, e.g. Bach.
rodboomboom
In successive sections on music, film, television, publishing, and fantasy, we are shown these impulses at work under our very noses.
Labarum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bond on July 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Terry Mattingly is a writer, journalist, syndicated columnist and more. If you want find out more, Google him and check out his web site. He is a keen observer of culture and how religion fits or doesn't fit in.

In Pop Goes Religion, we get a collection of columns Terry composed over the last several years on a wide range of topics, including music, musicians, movies, TV, books, personalities, etc. They are concise and make good points. Don't worry. He is not a boycott organizer or an inflammatory voice. He doesn't rant and rave against Hollywood. Nor does he hold back when illuminating the shortcomings of Christians when it comes to being good influences on culture. Why do most Christians sit on the sidelines and just complain?

His observations will be found interesting by Christians, people of other faiths and the non-religious (I think that is everyone). Some of these columns are a bit dated, having been written about events or movies that were current as many as 6 years ago, but I still found them interesting. The movies may not be playing, but the ideas are still quite pertinent.

BTW: All of these columns and more may be found in the archives on his website.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the summer of 1986, Terry Mattingly was a journalist camped out in front of the elevators at a Denver hotel, hoping to catch the first interview with the city's new archbishop. "The rest of the media is waiting in the lobby and outside the building," he writes in the introduction to his new book, POP GOES RELIGION. "However, a source inside the archdiocese staff has told me when [Archbishop] Stafford plans to leave the hotel, and with that information, it was easy to figure out which elevator he would almost certainly be using. So I'm thinking that, if I play my cards right, when the elevator doors open I may be able to quietly steer this future prince around the corner into a conference room and get that interview. Then I might even be able to kindly point him toward a side door out of the hotel, helping him avoid the rest of the media hoard and, by the way, making my interview an exclusive. Reporters do things like that."

As Mattingly stood there, a vaguely familiar voice came from behind and asked, "Port Arthur Teen Club, right?" He turned around and there stood Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Billy J. Gibson, lead singer and guitarist for the trio ZZ Top. Mattingly met Gibson when he was a teenager in Texas in the early 1970s, hanging out at a local music club called the Port Arthur Teen Club and helping bands set up for their gigs. The hottest band in the area in those years was ZZ Top. Mattingly had used that connection a decade later to get past security and interview ZZ Top when they finally made it big. And though even more years had passed since then, Gibson remembered the erstwhile reporter.

At that moment, the elevator doors opened and two worlds collided.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karmagold on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this spare, 200 page book, journalist and educator Mattingly gives a glimpse of faith & popular culture in the best way possible: he gets out of the way and lets the subject speak. He never preaches; he lets the story do the work.

This "collection of snapshots from the front lines of the pop-culture wars" is divided into five areas of about 10 articles each: music, movies, TV, books, and church and family. Each article is about 2-pages and 5-minutes long. Voices of preachers, producers, writers, and others populate the page. Just right.

As to Mattingly's motive: perhaps it's found in his quote from a book by George Barna and Mark Hatch: "From commercials to sitcoms... to hit songs.... to talk shows, God's principles are challenged every moment of every day, in very entertaining, palatable and discreet ways. Few Christians currently have the intellectual and spiritual tools to identify and reject the garbage."

While Mattingly doesn't presume to equip everyone with the requisite tools, he does expose and comment on the issues in a meaningful way. For anyone looking for insight into popular culture through the lense of faith/Christianity, I recommend Pop Goes Religion. Sample more of Mattingly's writing in his weekly newspaper column, "On Religion", and at GetReligion.org.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mattingly has background to be the entertaining, enlightening commentor on how religion interacts with pop culture in this book which is compilation of articles he wrote on the topic.

The cover says it well graphically what the reader can expect to find within its pages: comments on how fims, books and music such as U2, Harry Potter, Simpsons, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. engage the popular culture with religion, especially with author's interest in Christianity.

I found all this engaging, except that he doesnt' provide much in the way of supporting how a Christian can be faithful yet engage with pop culture so opposed to truth. His point however that the church should not abandon cultural areas of arts and music in film, books, TV, etc. is well taken. When the church as current evidence provides models the culture in this, it doesn't really contribute anything to the cultural tide. Take the history of church in these areas and great cultural contributors did their work from within, and went on to influence the culture somewhat, e.g. Bach.
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