FT 05-L Christianity and Popular Culture
Stephen Webb, Department of Philosophy and Religion, TTh, 9:45
What is the relationship between Christianity and popular culture? Christian churches used to try to keep some distance from popular culture, but now many of them embrace it. When rock and roll was born, for example, churches preached against it, but now the most successful churches use guitars and drums for worship, and contemporary Christian music is the fastest growing segment of the music industry. We will study the way Christian churches use film, contemporary music, and other aspects of popular culture to reach out to nonbelievers. One topic we will focus on is the relationship between religion and sports. Why have sports teams and athletic heroes become so important for church growth? We will also look at the early history of Christianity and its relation to the Roman Empire in order to better understand the nature and mission of the Christian faith.