Nov 22, 2009

Pop Culture can Inform our approach to Mission

Today's blog is a book review written on Popular Culture. To be a student of pop culture is not only smart but totally needed to aid our evangelistic endeavours.

Here's my review on Understanding Theology and Popular Culture by Gordon Lynch.

Gordon Lynch writes a wonderful book outlining what popular culture is and how it can be examined as the basis for theological reflection and missiological critique . The author suggests that the examination of popular culture is worthwhile in that it gives us insights as to how religion is viewed and practiced by the world at large in which we live. Popular culture is not so easily defined but it can be said that it is a term that points us towards the study of environment, practices and resources of everyday life . The break down of social relations is discussed in light of electronic media and the consumer culture analyzed for its influence in people’s lives. Popular culture is indeed proven to have the potential to be a negative influence in one’s life. Key theories are introduced in the text as to how popular culture can be studied to gain maximum insights. These included an author-focused approach, a text-based approach and finally an ethnographic approach. All three represent an important range of methods that enable us to interpret popular culture in more complex ways, and thus to develop theological critiques that are better informed and more convincing . The author in finishing his text presents the possibility that pop culture may inform and challenge the beliefs and practices of religious tradition in the same way that theological norms may challenge popular culture .

Lynch, Gordon. Understanding Theology and Popular Culture. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005