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Religion and Popular Culture in America

Revised Edition

Bruce David Forbes (Editor), Jeffrey H. Mahan (Editor)

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ISBN: 9780520932579
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ISBN: 9780520932579
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The connection between American popular culture and religion is the subject of this multifaceted and innovative collection. In fourteen lively essays whose topics range from the divine feminine in The Da Vinci Code to Madonna's "Like a Prayer," and from the world of sports to the ways in which cyberculture has influenced traditional religions, this book offers fascinating insights into what popular culture reveals about the nature of American religion today. Revised throughout, this new edition features three new essays—including a fascinating look at the role of women in apocalyptic fiction such as the Left Behind series—and editor Bruce David Forbes has written a new introduction. In addition to the new textual material, each chapter concludes with a set of suggested discussion questions.
Preface to the 2005 Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction: Finding Religion in Unexpected Places
Bruce David Forbes

Part I. Religion in Popular Culture
1. The Oriental Monk in American Popular Culture
Jane Naomi Iwamura
2. Consecrating Consumer Culture: Christmas Television Specials
Robert J. Thompson
3. Re-Mythologizing the Divine Feminine in The Da Vinci Code and The Secret Life of Bees
Jennie S. Knight
4. Like a Sermon: Popular Religion in Madonna Videos
Mark D. Hulsether

Part II. Popular Culture in Religion
5. Evangelicals and Popular Music: The Contemporary Christian Music Industry
William D. Romanowski
6. The Internet, Religion and Community
Greg Peterson
7. The Cross at Willow Creek: Seeker Religion and the Contemporary Marketplace
Stewart M. Hoover

Part III. Popular Culture as Religion
8. It's about Faith in our Future: Star Trek Fandom as Cultural Religion
Michael Jindra
9. Losing Their Way to Salvation: Women, Weight Loss, and the Salvation Myth of Culture Lite
Michelle M. Lelwica
10. An American Apotheosis: Sports as Popular Religion
Joseph L. Price
11. The Church of Baseball, the Fetish of Coca-Cola, and the Potlach of Rock 'n' Roll
David Chidester

Part IV. Religion and Popular Culture in Dialogue
12. The Disguise of Vengeance in Pale Rider
Robert Jewett
13. Rap Music and Its Message: On Interpreting the Contact between Religion and Popular Culture
Anthony Pinn
14. The Gender Dynamics of the Left Behind Series
Amy Johnson Frykholm

Conclusion: Establishing a Dialogue about Relgion and Popular Culture
Jeffrey H. Mahan
Selected Bibliography
Bruce David Forbes is Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Jeffrey H. Mahan is Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and coauthor of Shared Wisdom: A Guide to Case Study Reflection in Ministry (1993).

“A solid introduction to the dialogue between the disciplines of cultural studies and religion…. A substantive foundation for subsequent exploration.”—Religious Studies Review

“A splendid collection of lively essays by fourteen scholars dealing with religion and popular culture on the contemporary American scene.”—Choice

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