Christmas Unwrapped offers a fascinating interpretation of the American Christmas from the perspectives of cultural studies, theology, and biblical studies. The editors' central argument is that Christmas - with its attendant mythology (Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street), icons (Santa Claus), and rituals (gift-giving, holiday concerts, Christmas shopping) - has become a new religion in America, the religion of consumer capitalism. As the contributors to this lucid and accessible critque of American culture demonstrate, Jesus definitely is not the reason for the season.
"Christmas Unwrapped" offers a fascinating critique of the American Christmas from the perspectives of cultural studies, theology, and biblical studies. The central argument is that Christmas--with its attendant mythology, icons, and rituals--has become a new religion in America: the religion of consumer capitalism.
Richard A. Horlsey is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is author of Galilee: History, Politics, People; Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee: The Social Context of Jesus and the Rabbis; and editor of Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society, all published by Trinity Press.
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