1 Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952), 270.
2 Douglas Coupland, Life after God (New York: Pocket Books, 1994), 273.
3 The resulting scar is clearly an allusion to the wounds of Christ and the stigmata of St Francis and other Catholic saints.
4 As Chuck Palahniuk, the author of FightClub, is clearly aware, there is a line to be drawn connecting our experience of our fathers and our image of God. In his background commentary on this scene in the DVD version of the movie, Palahniuk comments, "It has really struck a chord (with the audience) and I have to wonder... people without a presence of father, if they can ever have a presence of God."
5 "God," by Tori Amos, from Under the Pink. © 1994 Sword and Stone Publishing, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
6 Joan Osborne, "One of Us," from Relish. Song written by Eric Bazilian © 1995 Warner Bros. Music Corp. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Warner Bros. Publications US Inc., Miami, Florida 33014.
7 Distributed in the US under the title, Don't Tempt Me, directed by Agustin Diaz Yanes (First Look Films, 2001).
8 From Franchise Pictures, written by Roger Rueff, directed by John Swanbeck, 2000.
9 Wim Wenders, On Film: Essays and Conversations (London: Faber & Faber, 2001), 236, 277.
10 There was a surge of attention to angels in popular culture beginning in the 1990s. There was an emergence of television shows like Touched by an Angel (CBS), Promised Land (CBS), and Wonderfalls (Fox), and of movies like Michael (1996), The Preacher's Wife (1996), City of Angels (1998), and Dogma (1999). Paralleling this were bestselling books like Joan Webster Anderson's Where Angels Walk (1993), a collection of stories about people who attest to angels intervening in their lives. It remained for 55 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers' list, and still outsells Tillich's most popular books. It was followed by Anderson's An Angel to Watch over Me (1994) and Angels We Have Heard on High (1997). Publishing bonanzas by other authors include Sophy Burham's A Book of Angels (1990); Doreen Virtue, Messages from Your Angels: What Your Angels Want You to Know (2002) and Angel Therapy: Healing Messages for Every Area of Your Life (1997). Add to this angel calendars, guardian angel kits, angel oracle cards, wall prints and tote bags with the image of Raphael's angels, etc. Victoria's Secret has even introduced a line of erotic undergarments called "Angels." A more recent development circumvents the messenger role of angels and has God speaking directly to individuals - see Joan of Arcadia (CBS, 2003), and Bruce Almighty (Universal Pictures, 2003).
11 Wenders, On Film, 237.
12 Paul Ricoeur, "The Function of Fiction in Shaping Reality," in Man and World 12/2 (1970), 134.
13 Paul Ricoeur, "On Interpretation," in From Text to Action: Essays in Her-meneutics, II, ed. Kathleen Blamey and John B. Thompson (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1991), 6.
14 Franco Ferrucci, The Life of God (as Told by Himself), trans. Raymond Rosenthal and Franco Ferrucci (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 7.
31 This notion that God is engaged in a project of self-discovery is also found in the very popular non-fiction book, God: A Biography, by Jack Miles (New York: Vintage Books, 1995). Miles proposes that a literary reading of the Hebrew Bible displays a God who creates humans in order to find out something about himself, to clarify whether his deepest wish is to be known, to be loved, or to be served (see p. 403). Like Ferrucci's God, Miles's God is surprised by the consequences of his actions, and is chastened over time as one thing after another fails to go according to plan. This God gradually withdraws from intervening in human affairs, again, like the God we meet in Ferrucci's world.
32 Ibid., 239. This brings to mind the colorful charge of David Hume, who in 1760 chided theologians who anthropomorphize God: "[This world is the] first rude essay of some infant deity, who afterwards abandoned it, ashamed of his performance." See Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, ed. Henry Aiken (New York: Hafner Publishing, 1948), 41.
33 Ferucci, The Life of God, 280.
34 James Morrow, Towing Jehovah (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994); Blameless in Abaddon (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996); and The Eternal Footman (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999).
35 James Morrow, Towing Jehovah, 138.
38 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, trans. Constance Garnett (New York: New American Library, 1957), 573.
39 Morrow, Towing Jehovah, 171.
40 Morrow, Blameless in Abaddon, 29.
41 Morrow, Towing Jehovah, 62.
42 Morrow, The Eternal Footman, 33f.
43 Ibid., 237. This is a near verbatim quote from Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison (London: SCM Books, 1953), 122. But it is worth noting that Ockham (Morrow) has omitted one key sentence in the passage which would otherwise reinforce the underlying theism of Bonhoeffer's point. In the position where I have inserted the bracketed asterisks, Bonhoeffer includes the sentence, "The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15:34)."
44 This view that God is good but religion is bad is a recurring one. Both inside and outside of the religious community one can overhear the complaint that religion is somehow to blame for the thinness of the divine in our lives. In the words of rock artist Sinead O'Connor, who has recently made her peace with God after a very public display of shredding the Pope's photograph on NBC's Saturday Night Live ten years ago, "I believe in rescuing God from religion. Religion has God held hostage and hidden behind bars. If God were alive he or she would be suing a lot of people for libel." From interview with Sinead O'Connor, "O Mother, Who Art Thou?"Sunday Herald (Edinburgh) (January 12, 2003) <http://www.sundayherald.com/30497>.
45 H. Richard Niebuhr, Radical Monotheism and Western Culture (New York: Harper & Row, 1960), 29.
47 Laurence Cosse, A Corner of the Veil, trans. Linda Asher (New York: Scribner, 1999), 79.
50 Ibid., 31. Emphasis mine - note the Grand Inquisitor theme.
52 Laurence Cossé, A Corner of the Veil, trans. Linda Asher (New York: Scribner, 1999), 261.
57 As if they knew that effective marketing requires a myth, Needham Harper and Steers, an advertising agency, invented the McDonaldland campaign for McDonald's. For 6 years Ronald McDonald had been a free-floating mascot for the franchise, simply a clown who liked hamburgers. Then, in 1971, he was given a world of his own, where hamburgers could talk and french fries grew on bushes, and fellow inhabitants consisted of Mayor McCheese, Hamburglar, Officer Big Mac, Captain Crook, Grimace and CosMc, the hamburger-loving alien from outer space.
58 For more on this, see Sut Jhally, "Advertising as Religion: The Dialectic of Technology and Magic," in Cultural Politics in Contemporary America, eds. Ian Angus and Sut Jhally (New York: Routledge, 1989), 217-29.
59 Neil Gaiman, American Gods (New York: Harper Torch, 2001).
60 Albert Borgmann, Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984). See also his Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2003).
61 On this, see Bill Joy, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us," a highly confessional article Joy wrote for Wired magazine (April 2000), in which he worries over what long-term effects twenty-first-century technologies (robotics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology) will have on human beings and the planet. His primary concern is that through these technologies, machines will overtake humans, who may be the authors of our own demise. It will happen incrementally, he suggests, forwarded by scientists and consumers who think only of the next improvement in technologies they are currently using.
62 As reported by Thomas Friedman, in "Is Google God?" New York Times, commentary section (June 29, 2003) <http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/29/ opinion/29FRIE.html?8hpib>
63 Joy, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us."
64 Scott Adams, God's Debris: A Thought Experiment (Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2001), 100.
66 Dick Hebdige, "Postmodernism and 'The Other Side'," The Journal of Communication Inquiry, vol. 10/2 (1987), 92.
67 Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 93. Hebdige describes the aim of "the disciples of the Post" as an attack on all appeals to authority which are "seen to hover like the ghost of the Father behind all First World discourse guaranteeing
Truth, hierarchy and Order of Things." See his "The Bottom Line on Planet One: Squaring up to The Face," Ten-8, vol. 19 (1987), 43.
68 Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 73f.
69 William Schweiker, Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics: In the Time of Many Worlds (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004), ch. 9.
71 Jane Tompkins, West of Everything: The Inner Life of Westerns (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 220.
72 Schweiker, Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics, 188.
73 Tillich, Shaking the Foundations, 42-7.
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