GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Media well-done

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Are theme parks part of the media? They are at Understanding Evangelical Media. Not only obvious ones like Walt Disney World, but also Creation Museum, Holy Land Experience, even Silver Dollar City.

Other Christian media? Comics, videogames, drama, robotic dinosaurs, even advertising and retail sales. They’re all explored — along with the usual TV, books and radio — in this sweeping study co-edited by Quentin Schultze of Calvin College, a longtime sharp eye on religious media, along with Robert H. Woods Jr. of Spring Arbor College.

The site and book (IVP, 347 pp., $22) muster 40-plus specialists to examine 19 forms of media, with text, video clips and music samples. The site also posts much outside commentary on how well the Christian communicators are communicating — or not.

As elaborate as it is, the site has a few flaws. Worship is listed as a type of media, but the fine arts are not, despite groups like Christians in Visual Arts. Three links are supposed to list chapters, topics and sources, but they all lead to the same Web page. Each topic also lacks a summary or introductory paragraph, although a few have sound-file commentaries.

But the links are so plentiful, the site is great for anyone who wants to explore this big topic of a burgeoning religious movement. For friends, enemies, or just the curious, Understanding Evangelical Media is well worth a bookmark.

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Written by Jim Davis

November 13, 2008 at 5:07 am

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