Ross and Rachel had a baby, Britney and Justin broke up, and Time magazine asked if Bono could save the world. From the glittering tinsel of Hollywood to the advertising slogan you can't get out of your head, we are surrounded by popular culture. In A Matrix of Meanings Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor analyze aspects of popular culture and ask, What are they doing? What do they represent? and What do they say about the world in which we live? Rather than deciding whether Bono deserves our admiration, the authors examine the phenomenon of celebrity idolization. Instead of deciding whether Nike's "Just do it" campaign is morally questionable, they ask what its success reflects about our society. A Matrix of Meanings is a hip, entertaining guide to the maze of popular culture. Plentiful photos, artwork, and humorous sidebars make for delightful reading. Readers who distrust popular culture as well as those who love it will find useful insight into developing a Christian worldview in a secular culture.
Craig Detweiler (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of communication at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He previously served as codirector of the Reel Spirituality Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary. Detweiler has written scripts for numerous Hollywood films, and his social documentary, Purple State of Mind (www.purplestateofmind.com), debuted in 2008. He has been featured in the New York Times, on CNN, and on NPR.
Barry Taylor (PhD, 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.
This study of today's pop culture and the marketplace is widely aimed. It is
written for the young ("today's aspiring artists and culture consumers, who
dig God but can't stomach religion"), for Christians who don't see much that
relates to God in the culture of our day, and for anyone who wants to better
relate to popular culture. The authors are immersed in their topic: Detweiler
writes screenplays and teaches at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and
Taylor (popular culture, Fuller Theological Seminary) paints and is a
professional musician and songwriter. Chapters address advertising,
celebrities, music, movies, TV, fashion, sports, and art. They show how
artistic production in our postmodern world is characterized by "blending,
fragments, and sampling." The writing is emotionally direct: "doubts are
aired, gloves come off, and politeness takes a rest." The authors find
recurring themes such as alienation and loneliness and see wisdom and God
contained and shining through even the most debased popular culture. This book
will offer patient readers a new understanding of and appreciation for pop
culture and its often hidden connection to God. Recommended for large public
and academic libraries.-George Westerlund, formerly with Providence P.L.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.