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The Blackwell Guide to Theology and Popular Culture

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0698-6
368 pages
December 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
The Blackwell Guide to Theology and Popular Culture (1405106980) cover image
The Blackwell Guide to Theology of Popular Culture outlines various general theories of popular culture, identifies theologians and theological concepts that are conducive to analyzing popular culture, and explores religious themes that are asserting themselves through popular movies, novels, music, television shows and advertising.
  • A timely examination and contribution to the rapidly expanding field of theology and popular culture
  • Locates the theological analysis of culture alongside political, sociological, economic, aesthetic and psychological analyses
  • Surveys the work of religious and theological scholars who have turned their attention to popular culture
  • Considers classic Christian thinkers who have wrestled with culture, such as St. Paul, Tertullian, Augustine, Schleiermacher, Tillich, and Ricoeur
  • Proposes a method for analysing culture to discern its religious content
  • Identifies religious themes in popular culture
  • Uses illustrations, ranging from the fiction of Nick Hornby to Six Feet Under
  • An appendix provides lists of films, novels, television series, consumer products, architectural works, cultural events, and corporate icons that lend themselves to theological analysis.
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    Introduction.

    PART I: Theories of Popular Culture.

    1. Popular Culture.

    2. Cultural Studies.

    3. Theology and Culture.

    4. Theological Tools.

    PART II: A Theology of Popular Culture.

    5. Images of God.

    6. Human Nature.

    7. Sin.

    8. Salvation.

    9. Life Everlasting.

    Conclusion.

    Bibliographies.

    Index

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    Kelton Cobb is Professor of Theology and Ethics at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut.
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    • A timely examination and contribution to the rapidly expanding field of theology and popular culture
    • Locates the theological analysis of culture alongside political, sociological, economic, aesthetic and psychological analyses
    • Surveys the work of religious and theological scholars who have turned their attention to popular culture
    • Considers classic Christian thinkers who have wrestled with culture, such as St. Paul, Tertullian, Augustine, Schleiermacher, Tillich, and Ricoeur
    • Proposes a method for analysing culture to discern its religious content
    • Identifies religious themes in popular culture
    • Uses illustrations, ranging from the fiction of Nick Hornby to Six Feet Under
    • An appendix provides lists of films, novels, television series, consumer products, architectural works, cultural events, and corporate icons that lend themselves to theological analysis.
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    “Kelton Cobb draws on insights from a variety of disciplines to provide us with a ground-breaking theological investigation of popular culture. Offering a highly nuanced alternative to both the elite despisers and the uncritical celebrants, he probes the ways in which profound spiritual impulses are often at work just below the surface of popular culture. This book will serve as an important reference point for all future studies in this increasingly important field.” Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary


    “What makes this theologically-informed analysis so useful is Cobb's creative engagement with popular culture that is theoretically grounded in cultural studies as well as theological studies. This strikes me as a major contribution to the cultural study of religions and the theological study of cultures. ” Gary Laderman, Emory University

    "There is much to commend in Cobb's book. It is well-written, it is grounded in careful scholarship (and an evident love for the subject), and it makes some very stimulating connections between theology and popular culture... The book will be particularly useful for theology students who are new to the discipline of cultural studies and will find it valuable in beginning to make connections between their existing theological knowledge and the study of popular culture." Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol 21, No 3

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