Conversations With Barry Taylor, Part 3 & 4

Here are the final selections from my interview with Barry Taylor.  In these videos, he discusses the fading sacred/secular divide in popular culture as well as atheistic sacrality and contemporary art.  Good stuff. … [Read more...]

Conversations with Barry Taylor: Part 1 & 2

Last week, I attended the second session of the Transforming Theology Conference down at Claremont. This time, denominational leaders got together to discuss the future of said organizations. The organizers also invited a couple of folks from the Emergence movement to both offer their own opinions and challenge the leaders to consider the challenges that the changing culture provides. One of these Emergence participants was Barry Taylor, author of Entertainment Theology, associate rector at … [Read more...]

Sound and Fury

Things have been a bit lax around here with comprehensive exams highjacking all my time and energy.  With the written component of those behind me, there should be more frequent updates to Pop Theology.  Look for some more contributions form Richard Lindsay as well who is no longer teaching Pop Goes Religion.  For now, I'll pick back up with another summer blockbuster, Terminator Salvation in which there was this explosion, and another one, and another one, and not much else. … [Read more...]

The (Super)Human Power of Forgiveness…and a New Website

A new interreligious website recently launched called Patheos.  It's a much needed concept that offers different religious perspectives on pressing issues.  It has a host of lenses through which to compare different religious responses to both new and age old questions.  For this week's edition on the meaning of existence, I was asked to write a piece on what this year's summer blockbuster releases might tell us about who we are or why we're here.  Follow the link after the jump to check out the … [Read more...]

Star Trek: A Pop Theology Conversation

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past week or so, you've heard about the wild popularity of the new Star Trek film.  I'm not going to go in any great detail here about the film:  it's a reboot that provides the origins of Spock, Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew, and it's GREAT.  After the jump, check out a bit of back-and-forth between frequent Pop Theology contributor Richard Lindsay and I. … [Read more...]

Is This Real Life…

I have to admit, I loved Jean-Claude Van Damme films when I was a kid.  Although I haven't seen one in a while, I imagine that I still would.  My motto:  "There's nothing better than a great movie than a bad one."  I mean, have you seen Street Fighter?  In his latest film, Van Damme and director Mabrouk El Mechri have managed to take these moments and his history as a B-action movie star and spin them into a unique new film entitled JCVD which turns out laughs, for all the right reasons, and thou … [Read more...]

Sleep Tight

I really enjoy a good revenge thriller, which is what attracted me to Akira Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well.  While its plot of revenge is timeless, its tale of corporate corruption has become vogue once again. … [Read more...]

Speaking Truth to Power

With the increased political and economic crises plaguing our country, how will filmmakers respond?  Will we have an over-indulgence of diversions or will we have films that speak truth to power, challenging the structures that cause or contribute to the crises that plague our communities?  The recent release, State of Play has characters who speak truth to power, and as a film itself, does so as well. … [Read more...]