on 4 April 2005
A call to action for theologians to take popular culture seriously, not with rose-tinted raybans or at the end of a pitchfork. Using the methodologies of cultural studies and sociology Lynch outlines many different ways that 'popular culture' (and defining what we mean by this is half the problem) has been seen to relate to other aspects of society, especially the religious. Taking three different subjects - Eminem, Homer Simpson and Club Culture and three different approaches - Author-focused, Text-based and Ethnographic, Lynch concisely and perceptively shows the strengths and weaknesses of each in the way they relate to popular views of religious questions.
This is Lynch's most penetrating book yet, powerful, persuasive and energising. The challenge is for other theologians to take seriously both the power of popular culture in our lives and the discipline of studying its religious aspects rigourously. After all, it is easy to condemn Jerry Springer the Opera as blasphemy without asking if it is asking valid questions about contemporary perceptions of religious subjects and it is also easy to sit down with Madonna's lyrics and find a passionate yearning for the Other, but does that ever strike the clubbers on the dance floor?