The postsecular age is shaping religion in the twenty-first century and challenging traditional thoughts on Christianity. Interest in Christian spirituality however is on the rise. Pop-culture expert Barry Taylor exhorts Christians to embrace new vehicles for communicating the truth of the Gospel, or become a thing of the past. Taking snapshots from numerous fields - including theology, cultural studies, sociology, and pop culture - he explores the broad spectrum of factors affecting religious life today. Ultimately, Taylor suggests a move away from traditional religion, proposing instead a manifestation of Christianity, not as a religion of the past, but as a beacon of hope for the present and the future.
It's the end of the church as we know it. In a digitally connected world, people are seeking spiritual answers through pop culture. Instead of retreating, Christians must "rethink the sacred" and enter global conversations about God--in film, literature, TV, and music--or face extinction, argues Barry Taylor in Entertainment Theology.
Taking snapshots from theology, cultural studies, sociology, and pop culture, Taylor explores a myriad of factors affecting religious life since the 1970s, including technology, fashion, celebrity, and global communications. He exhorts a move away from traditional Christian religion, proposing instead a manifestation of Christianity as a religion not of the past but of the present and the future.
For scholars, seminary students, culture watchers, and emerging-church readers, Entertainment Theology offers thought-provoking hope for Christianity's future.
Barry Taylor (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is artist in residence for the Brehm Center and an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he teaches a series of spiritually innovative classes on music, film, and contemporary theology. In addition, he is an associate rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. He has coauthored two books, A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture and A Heretic's Guide to Eternity.
"In the hands of a musician, poet, and artist, theology is not delivered prepackaged and labeled but is, rather, God-talk that is creative and evocative. Barry Taylor leads us out of our studies and our pews to do our theology in the street, in response to the media bombardment and the many voices and images around us. Great entertainment stimulates our imagination and invites our participation, and Taylor does both. Entertainment Theology
is not the last word, but a work in progress." -Eddie Gibbs, senior professor, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Barry Taylor has a remarkable ability to bring together perspectives on contemporary culture that other commentators often miss. His wide-ranging understanding of both culture and practical theology come together in a conversation that is accessible as well as provocative. No serious scholar can afford to ignore Taylor's insights on the interaction of culture and spirituality." -John Drane, author, The McDonaldization of the Church
"Barry Taylor's Entertainment Theology is a powerful and provocative summons to renewed attentiveness to the strange new world rising up around us. Against the tendency to defensively dismiss emerging spiritualities as either uselessly nebulous or somehow demeaning to religious tradition, Taylor articulates the more excellent way of critical affirmation, celebrating what he sees as a democratization of spirit and a shift toward a more globally minded, yet communal, conversation about the meaning of God. Entertainment Theology is the place where Donnie Darko, Buddhism, the Lorax, Tom Waits, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights interface. It announces the end of the tired, old world where these conversations were thought to be beyond the pale and challenges us to see the postmodern world (on the way and already here) as an ever-emerging opportunity for redemptive and redeeming reassessment. Intensely recommended." -David Dark, author, Everyday Apocalypse
The postsecular age is fashioning religion in the twenty-first century, challenging traditional Christianity. Yet interest in spirituality is rising: "God has become one of Time magazine's favorite cover boys and spirituality has become a fashion accessory," writes Barry Taylor in Entertainment Theology
. He exhorts Christians to embrace new vehicles to communicate gospel truth---or face extinction.
Taylor envisions Christianity's future as "spirituality over religion" and believes Christians must rethink the sacred in a democratized world. Taking snapshots from numerous fields---including theology, cultural studies, sociology, and pop culture---he explores the broad spectrum of factors affecting religious life today.
Taylor suggests a move away from traditional Christian religion, proposing instead a manifestation of Christianity as a religion not of the past but of the present and the future. Professors and students in theology, sociology, cultural anthropology, and missiology courses will benefit, while culture watchers and emerging-church readers will discover thought-provoking hope for Christianity's future.
The Cultural Exegesis series provides methodological and foundational studies that address the way to engage culture theologically. Each volume works within a specific cultural discipline, illustrating and embodying the theory behind cultural engagement. By providing the appropriate tools, these books equip the reader to engage and interpret the surrounding culture responsibly.
Exploring the connections between post-secular culture and emerging forms of belief, Taylor (artist-in-residence at Fuller Theological Seminary and associate rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills) argues that 'spirituality is the new religion of our times. This wide-ranging book uses examples from pop culture, particularly movies, and ideas from a variety of postmodern observers to argue that a democratization of spirit is leading to new forms of faith and a re-enchantment of Western culture. Taylor then turns from observer to evangelist as he calls for an end to the present form of Christianity in favor of Christian spiritualities. While Taylor brings considerable enthusiasm and extensive reading to bear on his topic, many of the books vague generalities are unsupported by evidence, and he fails to define who is actually affected by the cultural sea change he insists is occurring. His intended audience isnt clear, and weak writing and tone shifts also mar this ambitious book. In tracing nascent trends and arguing for traditional Christianitys demise, Taylor ignores the vigorous ongoing practice of Christian religion around the globe, including the call to social justice in a suffering world. (Mar.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.