21st Century Breakdown: Green Day's Operatic Follow-up to American Idiot

The middle-aged boys of Green Day continue they’re singular positions as composers of punk opera, as explained in this review from Richard Lindsay.  (more…) Read more

The World's Worst Movie?

One of the great things about TCM is that they show the sublime and the absurd.  Most of the latter screens late on Friday and Saturday nights.  One of the films in its recurring Underground series that aired this spring was The World’s Greatest Sinner…a.k.a. “The World’s Worst Movie.” (more…) Read more

Religion and Film: A Review

Don’t let the length fool you…S. Brent Plate’s latest book, Religion and Film:  Cinema and the Re-Creation of the World, packs a serious punch.  It represents yet another accomplished work of religion and film scholarship that 1) moves beyond a narrative-centered approach to film studies and 2) reveals that an in-depth analysis of film has direct implications for our understanding and practice of religion. (more…) Read more

Up-lifting the Spirit

Without a doubt, Pixar is one of the most creative and successful animation studios in the history of film.  For over ten years, they have turned out almost annual successes that continually entertain, amaze, and inspire.  Along the way, they have encouraged audiences to look at the everyday, mundane objects in life in completely different ways.  With their latest release, Up, they encourage audiences to take a fresh look at life itself. (more…) Read more

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. (more…) 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 All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly… 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… 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. (more…) 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… Read more


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