Bruce David Forbes provides an introductory essay that states the book's organizing principles. The first group of essays examines the appearance of explicit religious content or implicit religious themes in popular culture, focusing on such particulars as Christmas television specials and the fiction of Louis L'Amour and Cormac McCarthy. The second group of essays considers ways that popular culture influences traditional religions, especially evangelical Christianity. A third group illustrates how aspects of popular culture develop their own myths, symbol systems, and ritual patterns; included are discussions of "Star" "Trek" fandom, women's weight loss rituals, and sports. The fourth group offers examples of ways that religion and popular culture might critique each another: the disguise of vengeance in "Pale Rider," rap music's take on African-American Christian theology, and a Christian feminist perspective on the role of gender in cyberspace. Jeffrey H. Mahan's concluding essay looks at the academic and general audiences engaged in discussions of social and cultural reform.
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