Ipod, Youtube, Wii Play
Theological Engagements with Entertainment
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Synopsis: Should Christians w00t or wail about the scope and power of modern entertainment? Maybe both. But first, Christians should think theologically about our human passion to be entertained as it relates to the popular culture that entertains us. Avoiding the one-size-fits-all celebrations and condemnations that characterize the current fad of pop culture analyses, this book engages entertainments case by case, uncovering the imaginative patterns and shaping power of our amusements. Individual chapters weave together analyses of entertainment forms, formats, technologies, trends, contents, and audiences to display entertainment as a multifaceted formational ecology. Endorsements: "Brent Laytham carefully analyzes the social and theological problems attached to entertainment as it has become wedded to technology. But this is neither a screed against its dangers nor a doomsday resignation to its hegemonic power. Rather, Laytham asks us to keep entertainment in its proper place in God's economy, practicing resistance to its idolatrous tendencies while embracing it as a 'trivial pursuit' that acknowledges God as 'the giver of laughter, pleasures, and joy.'" --L. Edward Phillips, Emory University "Witty, wistful, and wickedly provocative, Brent Laytham's theological investigation into the cultural phenomena of entertainment, technology, and media is a surefire conversation starter. Whether for the college classroom, the seminary seminar, or the Christian education class in the church basement, this book is certain to engage the imagination and faith of its readers." --Todd Johnson, Fuller Theological Seminary "Are we amusing ourselves to death? That enduring question is reworked in fresh and insightful ways as Laytham skillfully navigates a new era of technological pastimes and pleasures. The formative power of our cultural amusements is met with keen theological analysis, and the result is a book that is eminently useful and--dare I say--vastly entertaining." --Debra Dean Murphy, West Virginia Wesleyan College "A generation of theologians has been worried about the deforming practices of the liberal state. What we really need to worry about are its games. The devil is in its bread and circuses. In this wise, accessible book Brent Laytham offers an engaged theological analysis of our entertainments and distractions, inviting us to follow Jesus with new intentionality." --James K. A. Smith, Calvin College "Brent Laytham is one of the most creative and substantive theologians working today. In this work he directs his considerable skills to a theological analysis of technology and culture. It is a delightful read and a profound critique. It deserves to be read and discussed widely within the church, the academy, and any other place where people gather to seek truth and wisdom--for there is much of that here." --D. Stephen Long, Marquette University Author Biography: D. Brent Laytham is Dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, and professor of theology there. He is the editor of God Is Not (2004) and God Does Not (2009).
Cascade Books, 9781556355097, 209pp.
Publication Date: October 10, 2012