God in the Details examines how religion is communicated in pop culture. The editors write “the challenge, then, lies not in overcoming the “otherness” of our subjects of study, but in choreographing the dance that allows us to come into intimate closeness with these subjects and then step back to do critical analysis” (2011, p. 7). This seems to be a “big idea” this week. Where do we, as individuals find the dance lines?

In The Simpsons, religion is used satirically. Many people are offended by the way the show handles religion. They ask if the media is changing us or reflecting our changes.


Clifford Geertz calls this the “‘intrinsic double aspect’ of cultural products that are both models of and models for reality” (as cited in Dalton, Mazur, & Siems, 2011, p. 240). Geertz argues that this is important to a culture because these patterns “give meaning … to social and psychological reality both by shaping themselves to it and by shaping it to themselves’ (Geertz 1973, 93)” (as cited by Dalton, Mazur, & Siems, 2011, p. 241).



The opinion I seem to be forming is that culture’s influence is inescapable and our best plan is to try to influence it for the better. Influencing it for the better may just involve using technology and media as Schultze suggests. “We will have to invest as much time and energy in the habits of our hearts as we do in our high-tech practices” (2002, p.209).

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Dalton, L., Mazur, E. M. & Siems, M. (2011). Homer the Heretic and Charlie Church: Parody, piety, and pluralism in The Simpsons.

In Mazur, E. M. & McCarthy, K. (Eds.) (2011). God in the details: American religion in popular culture (2nd ed.) (pp. 237-254).
New York, NY: Routledge.

Mazur, E. M. & McCarthy, K. (Eds.) (2011). God in the details: American religion in popular culture (2nd ed.) (pp. 237-254). New York, NY: Routledge.

Schultze, Q. J. (2002). Habits of the high-tech heart: Living virtuously in the Information Age. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Spicer, T. (2011, April 11). Christian Media [Msg. 1]. Retrieved from http://sauonline.arbor.edu

Woods, R. (2011, April 11). The Matrix, L.O.S.T., Seinfeld, and, yes, Rocky! Some “big ideas” for everyone [Msg. 1]. Retrieved from http://sauonline.arbor.edu

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