Monday, 31 May 2010

Entertainment Theology

Just finished Barry Taylor's Entertainment Theology: Exploring Spirituality in a Digital Democracy.  I liked it. 

In some ways a follow up to A Matrix of Meanings, his earlier collaboration with Craig Detweiler,  Entertainment Theology digs a little deeper into sociology and cultural theory as Taylor continues to affirm the value of popular culture as an arena for serious engagement with the postsecular spiritual search.  I particularly liked the treatment of the resurgence of interest in all things gothic - think Dan Brown, Buffy, Harry Potter, Donnie Darko.  This he reads as a manifestation of a desire positively to embrace the insecurity and uncertainty at the heart of postmodernity. 

Less satisfying was his reimagining of the role of Christian theology.   He believes that our era demands a move beyond Christianity as  Religion in order to fund the emergence of Christian Spiritualities.  Quite happy to explore this idea.  Trouble is Taylor has little of substance to say on this issue.  What we get instead are some (not unhelpful) pointers on methodology.  (Echoes here of the description of postliberalism as a clearing of the throat as a prelude to actually saying something.)   But maybe, hopefully, that's for the next book.  In the meantime this encouragement to plunge into the spate of popular yearning for more, trusting in the creative Spirit will do nicely.

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