Rapture Culture

Left Behind in Evangelical America

Author: Amy Johnson Frykholm

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198036227

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 6808

In the "twinkling of an eye" Jesus secretly returns to earth and gathers to him all believers. As they are taken to heaven, the world they leave behind is plunged into chaos. Cars and airplanes crash and people search in vain for loved ones. Plagues, famine, and suffering follow. The antichrist emerges to rule the world and to destroy those who oppose him. Finally, Christ comes again in glory, defeats the antichrist and reigns over the earth. This apocalyptic scenario is anticipated by millions of Americans. These millions have made the Left Behind series--novels that depict the rapture and apocalypse--perennial bestsellers, with over 40 million copies now in print. In Rapture Culture, Amy Johnson Frykholm explores this remarkable phenomenon, seeking to understand why American evangelicals find the idea of the rapture so compelling. What is the secret behind the remarkable popularity of the apocalyptic genre? One answer, she argues, is that the books provide a sense of identification and communal belonging that counters the "social atomization" that characterizes modern life. This also helps explain why they appeal to female readers, despite the deeply patriarchal worldview they promote. Tracing the evolution of the genre of rapture fiction, Frykholm notes that at one time such narratives expressed a sense of alienation from modern life and protest against the loss of tradition and the marginalization of conservative religious views. Now, however, evangelicalism's renewed popular appeal has rendered such themes obsolete. Left Behind evinces a new embrace of technology and consumer goods as tools for God's work, while retaining a protest against modernity's transformation of traditional family life. Drawing on extensive interviews with readers of the novels, Rapture Culture sheds light on a mindset that is little understood and far more common than many of us suppose.

Writing the Rapture

Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America

Author: Crawford Gribben

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190296127

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 5850

For the past twenty years, evangelical prophecy novels have been a powerful presence on American bestseller lists. Emerging from a growing conservative culture industry, the genre dramatizes events that many believers expect to occur at the end of the age - the rapture of the saved, the rise of the Antichrist, and the fearful tribulation faced by those who are "left behind." Seeking the forces that drove the unexpected success of the Left Behind novels, Crawford Gribben traces the gradual development of the prophecy fiction genre from its eclectic roots among early twentieth-century fundamentalists. The first rapture novels came onto the scene at the high water mark of Protestant America. From there, the genre would both witness the defeat of conservative Protestantism and participate in its eventual reconstruction and return, providing for the renaissance of the evangelical imagination that would culminate in the Left Behind novels. Yet, as Gribben shows, the rapture genre, while vividly expressing some prototypically American themes, also serves to greatly complicate the idea of American modernity-assaulting some of its most cherished tenets. Gribben concludes with a look at "post-Left Behind" rapture fiction, noting some works that were written specifically to counter the claims of the best-selling series. Along the way, he gives attention not just to literary fictions, but to rapture films and apocalyptic themes in Christian music. Writing the Rapture is an indispensable guide to this flourishing yet little understood body of literature.

Culture Wars

An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices

Author: Roger Chapman

Publisher: M.E. Sharpe

ISBN: 0765622505

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 768

View: 5003

A collection of letters from a cross-section of Japanese citizens to a leading Japanese newspaper, relating their experiences and thoughts of the Pacific War.

Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times

Exploring the Left Behind Series

Author: B. Forbes,J. Kilde

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1403980217

Category: Social Science

Page: 219

View: 7781

An indispensable exploration of the runaway bestselling series! From Left Behind to Glorious Appearing, the books in the Left Behind series have sold over 60,000,000 copies worldwide and their popularity continues to grow. What makes the books about the apocalypse so popular? What is it about the end times that fascinates millions around the globe? And what does the Bible really say about the end of the world? In Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times, six experts gather to answer these provocative questions and more, guiding readers through the different Christian millennialist views and how they developed. They explore the historical, biblical, social and political issues raised by the Left Behind series' religious perspective, present broad questions that curious readers might ask, and encourage us to reflect on the issues the series raises. An entertaining and informative book for fans as well as skeptics, this is a top-notch resource you won't want to be without! Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times answers some of the most often-asked questions about this fascinating series of books: * How popular are the Left Behind books . . . and why? * What does the Bible say about the end times? * How did Left Behind's particular vision of the end times develop? * When do Christians think the end times will happen? * How are other religions treated in the Left Behind series? * What social and political messages appear in the Left Behind books? This MUST-HAVE book also includes a READER'S GUIDE with: * Reader's Group Discussion Questions * Full Glossary of Religious Terms * Suggestions For Further Reading from a Variety of Perspectives This book has not been approved, licensed, or sponsored by any of the writers, publishers, or distributors of the books in the Left Behind series nor by any person or entity involved in the creation, production, or distribution of any media based on the series.

See Me Naked

Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity

Author: Amy Frykholm

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807004677

Category: Religion

Page: 208

View: 1876

“A fascinating, troubling, and finally heartening book that subtly shows ways that Christians might reconcile their bodies with their devotion to God. Highly recommended for individual Christians but also for pastors and church groups.”—Library Journal, starred review Stories of sexual scandals in churches throughout the nation have been downright routine in recent years, suggesting to many Americans that a deeply rooted problem plagues American Christianity—and prompting some to abandon their congregations altogether. In See Me Naked, Amy Frykholm takes us beyond simple indictments of, or blind allegiance to, Christian cultures to explore the complex, intimate intersection of sexuality and spirituality as it affects the lives of ordinary Christians. Recounting with care and nuance the life histories of nine American Protestants, Frykholm shows us the harm done by the rules-based sexual ethic now dominant, which alternately denies and romanticizes sexuality. But she also points to how American Christians might otherwise access their spiritual tradition to heal the divide between religion and sexuality. One story examines the intricate relationship between a man’s religious faith and his sexual addiction. In another, a man defines religion as a wall that kept him from the discovery that he was gay. One young woman uses sex to defy her devout parents, while another seeks to transcend her body by going without food. Nearly everyone interviewed in See Me Naked remains a Christian, with some further on their journey than others. Yet each of them is working to understand the connection between their desires and their faith. Ultimately, their stories—stories of pain and violence, perseverance and courage—attest to the healing power of struggling through the wild and uncertain experiences of life. See Me Naked explores the many ways that people work to recover from harmful beliefs and restores the notion that one of the key insights of Christianity is that the body, with all its struggles, pains, and difficulties, is a vehicle of the holy and can lead us into a more full relationship with God. From the Hardcover edition.

Christian Understandings of the Future

The Historical Trajectory

Author: Amy Frykholm

Publisher: Fortress Press

ISBN: 1506418929

Category: Religion

Page: 376

View: 2008

Throughout the two-thousand-year span of Christian history, believers in Jesus have sought to articulate their faith and their understanding of how God works in the world. How do we, as we examine the vast and varied output of those who came before us, understand the unity and the diversity of their thinking? How do we make sense of our own thought in light of theirs? The Christian Understandings series offers to help. In this crisp and engaging volume Amy Frykholm offers a tour through more than two millennia of Christian thought on the future. Starting with the contexts of the Hebrew Bible and moving forward, Frykholm outlines the enduring fascination believers have had with future events and the myriad ways they have articulated their beliefs about what the future holds. From the imperial contexts of the book of Revelation to the end times prophecy of Harold Camping, Frykholm presents a thoughtful and insightful tour.

Religion and the Marketplace in the United States

Author: Jan Stievermann,Philip Goff,Detlef Junker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190266570

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 9219

Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: "How much money will it bring in?" G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a "nation with a soul of a church." At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics. Bringing together original contributions by leading experts and rising scholars from both America and Europe, the volume pushes this field of study forward by examining the ways religions and markets in relationship can provide powerful insights and open unseen aspects into both. In essays ranging from colonial American mercantilism to modern megachurches, from literary markets to popular festivals, the authors explore how religious behavior is shaped by commerce, and how commercial practices are informed by religion. By focusing on what historians often use off-handedly as a metaphor or analogy, the volume offers new insights into three varieties of relationships: religion and the marketplace, religion in the marketplace, and religion as the marketplace. Using these categories, the contributors test the assumptions scholars have come to hold, and offer deeper insights into religion and the marketplace in America.

Critical Digital Studies

A Reader, Second Edition

Author: Arthur Kroker,Marilouise Kroker

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442666714

Category: Social Science

Page: 624

View: 3488

Since its initial publication, Critical Digital Studies has proven an indispensable guide to understanding digitally mediated culture. Bringing together the leading scholars in this growing field, internationally renowned scholars Arthur and Marilouise Kroker present an innovative and interdisciplinary survey of the relationship between humanity and technology. The reader offers a study of our digital future, a means of understanding the world with new analytic tools and means of communication that are defining the twenty-first century. The second edition includes new essays on the impact of social networking technologies and new media. A new section – “New Digital Media” – presents important, new articles on topics including hacktivism in the age of digital power and the relationship between gaming and capitalism. The extraordinary range and depth of the first edition has been maintained in this new edition. Critical Digital Studies will continue to provide the leading edge to readers wanting to understand the complex intersection of digital culture and human knowledge.

Between God & Green

How Evangelicals Are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change

Author: Katharine K. Wilkinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199942854

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 2512

Despite three decades of scientists' warnings and environmentalists' best efforts, the political will and public engagement necessary to fuel robust action on global climate change remain in short supply. Katharine K. Wilkinson shows that, contrary to popular expectations, faith-based efforts are emerging and strengthening to address this problem. In the US, perhaps none is more significant than evangelical climate care. Drawing on extensive focus group and textual research and interviews, Between God & Green explores the phenomenon of climate care, from its historical roots and theological grounding to its visionary leaders and advocacy initiatives. Wilkinson examines the movement's reception within the broader evangelical community, from pew to pulpit. She shows that by engaging with climate change as a matter of private faith and public life, leaders of the movement challenge traditional boundaries of the evangelical agenda, partisan politics, and established alliances and hostilities. These leaders view sea-level rise as a moral calamity, lobby for legislation written on both sides of the aisle, and partner with atheist scientists. Wilkinson reveals how evangelical environmentalists are reshaping not only the landscape of American climate action, but the contours of their own religious community. Though the movement faces complex challenges, climate care leaders continue to leverage evangelicalism's size, dominance, cultural position, ethical resources, and mechanisms of communication to further their cause to bridge God and green.

What Would Jesus Read?

Popular Religious Books and Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century America

Author: Erin A. Smith

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469621339

Category: Religion

Page: 410

View: 8474

Since the late nineteenth century, religiously themed books in America have been commercially popular yet scorned by critics. Working at the intersection of literary history, lived religion, and consumer culture, Erin A. Smith considers the largely unexplored world of popular religious books, examining the apparent tension between economic and religious imperatives for authors, publishers, and readers. Smith argues that this literature served as a form of extra-ecclesiastical ministry and credits the popularity and longevity of religious books to their day-to-day usefulness rather than their theological correctness or aesthetic quality. Drawing on publishers' records, letters by readers to authors, promotional materials, and interviews with contemporary religious-reading groups, Smith offers a comprehensive study that finds surprising overlap across the religious spectrum--Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, liberal and conservative. Smith tells the story of how authors, publishers, and readers reconciled these books' dual function as best-selling consumer goods and spiritually edifying literature. What Would Jesus Read? will be of interest to literary and cultural historians, students in the field of print culture, and scholars of religious studies.

The Rapture Exposed

The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation

Author: Barbara R. Rossing,R Rossing

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465004962

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 7574

The idea of “The Rapture”—the return of Christ to rescue and deliver Christians off the earth—is an extremely popular interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Revelation and a jumping-off point for the best-selling “Left Behind” series of books. This interpretation, based on a psychology of fear and destruction, guides the daily acts of thousands if not millions of people worldwide. In The Rapture Exposed, Barbara Rossing argues that this script for the world’s future is nothing more than a disingenuous distortion of the Bible. The truth, Rossing argues, is that Revelation offers a vision of God’s healing love for the world. The Rapture Exposed reclaims Christianity from fundamentalists’ destructive reading of the biblical story and back into God’s beloved community.

The New Evangelical Social Engagement

Author: Brian Steensland,Philip Goff

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199329567

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 9104

In recent years evangelical Christians have been increasingly turning their attention toward issues such as the environment, international human rights, economic development, racial reconciliation, and urban renewal. Such engagement marks both a return to historic evangelical social action and a pronounced expansion of the social agenda advanced by the Religious Right in the past few decades. For outsiders to evangelical culture, this trend complicates simplistic stereotypes. For insiders, it brings contention over what "true" evangelicalism means today. Beginning with an introduction that broadly outlines this "new evangelicalism," the editors identify its key elements, trace its historical lineage, account for the recent changes taking place within evangelicalism, and highlight the implications of these changes for politics, civic engagement, and American religion. The essays that follow bring together an impressive interdisciplinary team of scholars to map this new religious terrain and spell out its significance in what is sure to become an essential text for understanding trends in contemporary evangelicalism.

Homespun Gospel

The Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism

Author: Todd M. Brenneman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199989001

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 3329

In popular evangelical literature, God is loving and friendly, described in heartfelt, often saccharine language that evokes nostalgia, comfortable domesticity, and familial love. This emotional style has been widely adopted by the writers most popular among American evangelicals, including such celebrity pastors as Max Lucado, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen. Todd M. Brenneman provides groundbreaking insight into the phenomenon of evangelical sentimentality: an emotional appeal to readers' feelings about familial relationships, which can in turn be used as the basis for a relationship with God. Brenneman shows how evangelicals use tropes of God as father, human beings as children, and nostalgia for an imagined idyllic home life to provide alternate sources of social authority, intended to help evangelicals survive a culture that is philosophically at odds with conservative Christianity. Yet Brenneman also demonstrates that the sentimental focus on individual emotion and experience can undermine the evangelical agenda. Sentimentality is an effective means of achieving individual conversions, but it also promotes a narcissism that blinds evangelicals to larger social forces and impedes their ability to bring about the change they seek. Homespun Gospel offers a compelling perspective on an unexplored but vital aspect of American evangelical identity.

Marks of the Beast

The Left Behind Novels and the Struggle for Evangelical Identity

Author: Glenn W. Shuck

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9780814740057

Category: Religion

Page: 273

View: 8402

Outside the Lines traces how sports laid a foundation for social change long before the judicial system formally recognized the inequalities of racial separation. Integrating sports teams to include white and black athletes alike, the National Football League served as a microcosmic fishbowl of the highs and lows, the trials and triumphs, of racial integration. Watching a football game on a Sunday evening, most sports fans do not realize the profound impact the National Football League had on the civil rights movement. Similarly, in a sport where seven out of ten players are black, few are fully aware of the history and contributions of their athletic forebears. Among the touchdowns and tackles lies a rich history of African American life and the struggle to achieve equal rights. Although the Supreme Court did not reverse their 1896 decision of "separate but equal" in the Plessy v Ferguson case until more than fifty years later, sports laid a foundation for social change long before our judicial system formally recognized the inequalities of racial separation. Integrating sports teams to include white and black athletes alike, the National Football League served as a microcosmic fishbowl of the highs and lows, the trials and triumphs, of racial integration. In this chronicle of black NFL athletes, Charles K. Ross has given us the story of the Jackie Robinsons of American football.

Wal-Mart

The Face Of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism

Author: Nelson Lichtenstein

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1595587462

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 349

View: 6705

Edited by one of the nation’s preeminent labor historians, this book marks an ambitious effort to dissect the full extent of Wal-Mart’s business operations, its social effects, and its role in the U.S. and world economy. Wal-Mart is based on a spring 2004 conference of leading historians, business analysts, sociologists, and labor leaders that immediately attracted the attention of the national media, drawing profiles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Review of Books. Their contributions are adapted here for a general audience. At the end of the nineteenth century the Pennsylvania Railroad declared itself “the standard of the world.” In more recent years, IBM and then Microsoft seemed the template for a new, global information economy. But at the dawn of the twenty-first century, Wal-Mart has overtaken all rivals as the world-transforming economic institution of our time. Presented in an accessible format and extensively illustrated with charts and graphs, Wal-Mart examines such topics as the giant retailer’s managerial culture, revolutionary use of technological innovation, and controversial pay and promotional practices to provide the most complete guide yet available to America’s largest company.

Nationhood, Providence, and Witness

Israel in Protestant Theology and Social Theory

Author: Carys Moseley

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1621896765

Category: Religion

Page: 302

View: 3140

This book argues that problems with recognizing the State of Israel lie at the heart of approaches to nationhood and unease over nationalism in modern Protestant theology, as well as modern social theory. Three interrelated themes are explored. The first is the connection between a theologian's attitude to recognizing Israel and their approach to the providential place of nations in the divine economy. Following from this, the argument is made that theologians' handling of both modern and ancient Israel is mirrored profoundly in the question of recognition and ethical treatment of the nations to which they belong, along with neighboring nations. The third theme is how social theory, represented by certain key figures, has handled the same issues. Four major theologians are discussed: Reinhold Niebuhr, Rowan Williams, John Milbank, and Karl Barth. Alongside them are placed social theorists and scholars of religion and nationalism, including Mark Juergensmeyer, Philip Jenkins, Anthony Smith, and Adrian Hastings. In the process, debates over the relationship between theology and social theory are reconfigured in concrete terms around the challenge of recognition of the State of Israel as well as stateless nations.

Children of Ezekiel

Aliens, UFOs, the Crisis of Race, and the Advent of End Time

Author: Michael Lieb

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822322689

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 308

View: 6968

Discussses the relationship between the biblical prophet Ezekiel's vision of "wheels in the air" and the present day end-of-time concept as seen in various religious sects.

American Denominational History

Perspectives on the Past, Prospects for the Future

Author: Keith Harper

Publisher: University Alabama Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Religion

Page: 222

View: 2491

Rapture Ready!

Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture

Author: Daniel Radosh

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416593756

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 1269

What does it mean when a band is judged by how hard they pray rather than how hard they rock? Would Jesus buy "Jesus junk" or wear "witness wear"? What do Christian skate parks, raves, and romance novels say about evangelicalism -- and America? Daniel Radosh went searching for the answers and reached some surprising conclusions. Written with the perfect blend of amusement and respect, Rapture Ready! is an insightful, entertaining, and deeply weird journey through the often hidden world of Christian pop culture. This vast and influential subculture -- a $7 billion industry and growing -- can no longer be ignored by those who want to understand the social, spiritual, and political aspirations of evangelical Christians. In eighteen cities and towns throughout thirteen states -- from the Bible Belt to the outskirts of Hollywood -- Radosh encounters a fascinating cast of characters, including Bibleman, the Caped Christian; Rob Adonis, the founder and star of Ultimate Christian Wrestling; Ken Ham, the nation's leading prophet of creationism; and Jay Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and pastor of his own liberal, punk rock church. From Christian music festivals and theme parks to Passion plays and comedy nights, Radosh combines gonzo reporting with a keen eye for detail and just the right touch of wit. Rapture Ready! is a revealing survey of a parallel universe and a unique perspective on one of America's most important social movements.

A Transforming Faith

Explorations of Twentieth-century American Evangelicalism

Author: David Harrington Watt

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9780813517179

Category: History

Page: 213

View: 7499

The first collection to focus the lens of postcolonial theory on pre-twentieth-century America