In The (Magic) Kingdom of God, Michael Budde offers a multidisciplinary analysis of the global culture industries”increasingly powerful, centralized corporate conglomerates in television, advertising, marketing, movies, and the likeand their impact on Christian churches in industrialized countries. Utilizing ideas from contemporary and classical schools of political economy, the author explains why the study of global culture industries is essential for understanding the current era of global capitalism.In suggesting that the cultural ecology shaped by these industries undermines many of the primary processes and structures through which people become committed Christians, Budde offers a novel utilization of linguistic-based theories of religious formation. Responses by churches to the new situationmore religious education or attempts to use the global culture industries for Christian purposesare explored and found lacking. For the subversive praxis of Jesus of Nazareth to endure in the cultural ecology of postmodernism, Budde argues, churches must come to embrace their role as radical and countercultural alternative communities in which lay formation becomes a central preoccupation.
Michael Budde is associate professor of political science at DePaul University.