cover image Entertainment Theology: Exploring Spirituality in a Digital Democracy

Entertainment Theology: Exploring Spirituality in a Digital Democracy

Barry Taylor. Baker Academic, $18.99 (249pp) ISBN 978-0-8010-3237-0

Exploring the connections between “post-secular” culture and emerging forms of belief, Taylor (artist-in-residence at Fuller Theological Seminary and associate rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills) argues that “ 'spirituality’ is the new religion of our times.” This wide-ranging book uses examples from pop culture, particularly movies, and ideas from a variety of postmodern observers to argue that a democratization of spirit is leading to new forms of faith and a “re-enchantment of Western culture.” Taylor then turns from observer to evangelist as he calls for “an end to the present form of Christianity” in favor of “Christian spiritualities.” While Taylor brings considerable enthusiasm and extensive reading to bear on his topic, many of the book’s vague generalities are unsupported by evidence, and he fails to define who is actually affected by the cultural sea change he insists is occurring. His intended audience isn’t clear, and weak writing and tone shifts also mar this ambitious book. In tracing nascent trends and arguing for traditional Christianity’s demise, Taylor ignores the vigorous ongoing practice of Christian religion around the globe, including the call to social justice in a suffering world. (Mar.)