FT 08-P Christianity and Popular Culture
Steve Webb, Department of Philosophy and Religion
The relationship between Christianity and popular culture is rich with historical and theological issues. Christian churches were once one of the main sources of education and entertainment in America, but by the early 20th century popular culture and religion began going their separate ways. The newest trend, however, for the fastest growing churches in America is a marriage between theology and the latest entertainment technology. Is this a marriage of convenience, or is something deeper going on? Many Christians today want to integrate films, sports, and fashion into a holistic religious lifestyle. Yet questions remain: Can popular culture carry the weight of theological messages? Are sports an appropriate venue for religious expression? What happens when rock and Christianity meet? Can Christianity adopt popular culture without losing its soul? We will look at all of these issues from the perspective of historical Christian faith, and we will ask how popular culture has changed Christianity as well as how Christianity has changed, and perhaps should change, popular culture.