Raised in a secular, liberal home, Kevin Roose had little contact with the Religious Right. When he happened upon a group of students from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University one day, he found himself standing over a massive cultural divide. Rather than brush these conservative students aside however, Roose decided to become one of them. Unlikely Disciple is the story of Roose's journey into a semester at Liberty University where he attempts to connect with the evangelical community by experiencing their world first-hand. Liberty U takes him to class, choir practice, an evangelical hip-hop concert and to Daytona Beach, where he learns how to convert bar-hopping co-eds to Christianity. Thought-provoking, hilariously told, yet respectful, Roose's embedded report from the front lines of the culture war will inspire and entertain believers and non-believers alike.
In what could be described as religious gonzo journalism, Roose documents his experiences as a student for a semester at Liberty University, the largest Christian fundamentalist university in the United States. Coming from progressive Brown University, the author admits that the transition to Liberty, with its iron-clad attempts at controlling student behavior, came with much anxiety. He trains himself to control his foul language and even begins to pray and study the bible regularly, much to the bewilderment of his liberal Quaker parents. He suffers his way through a course debunking evolution, but surprisingly finds enjoyment in a scripture class. Roose may be younghe's a 19-year-old college sophomorebut he writes like a seasoned veteran and obviously enjoys his work. He quickly makes friends at Liberty, but is naively stunned and not a little disgusted by their anti-gay rhetoric. School founder Rev. Jerry Falwell grants Roose an interview for the student newspaper shortly before the famous evangelical's death in May 2007. "Complicated" is how he describes Falwell, which is a good descriptor for his undercover student experience. (March) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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