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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pop Culture and Religion

...'culture' and 'popular' are both big, capacious words: pop culture is not only about religion as a human project of self-justification... popular culture includes such religious elements. Further, modern and post-modern popular culture... is heavily mass-mediated and commodified. In its mass-mediated and commodified forms, it appeals especially to the crowd. And remember that the crowd's characteristics include a tendency to take on a life of its own, overwhelming the considered jusgment and stifling the imagination of the individuals and communities who comprise it. The crowd is fickle and has a short attention span, but it is consistently vehement about its flavor of the day. The crowd casts 'God' in its own image and equates the vox populi with the vox Dei.

- Rodney Clapp, "God is not a Stranger on the Bus: Discovering the Divine in Popular Culture," in D. Brent Laytham, ed., God is not: religious, nice, "one of us," an American, a capitalist (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 2004), p. 32

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