Chapter

1 Walter T. Davis, Jr, Teresa Blythe, Gary Dreibelbis et al., Watching What We Watch: Prime-Time Television through the Lens of Faith (Louisville, KY: Geneva Press, 2001), 103. See also Elijah Siegler, "God in the Box: Religion in Contemporary Television Cop Shows," in God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture, eds. Eric Marzur and Kate McCarthy (New York: Routledge, 2001), 199-215.

2 David Samuels, "In the Age of Radical Selfishness," New York Times Magazine (October 17, 1999), 120ff.

3 Tom Beaudoin, Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1998), 140.

5 For a good analysis of this, see William Schweiker, Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics: In the Time of Many Worlds (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004).

6 Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 211.

7 For a good history on the connections between gospel/jazz/soul/rhythm and blues and rock music, see Martha Bayles, Hole in our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

8 John Mueller, Capitalism, Democracy and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 80.

9 Robert A. White, "Religion and Media in the Construction of Cultures," in Rethinking Media, Religion, and Culture, eds. Stuart M. Hoover and Knut Lundby (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1997), 55.

10 David Lyon, Jesus in Disneyland: Religion in Postmodern Times (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000), 89ff.

14 Ian H. Angus, "Circumscribing Postmodern Culture," in Cultural Politics in Contemporary America, eds. Ian Angus and Sut Jhally (New York: Routledge, 1989), 99ff.

15 Herbert Muschamp, "Who Gets It?" New York Times Magazine (May 18, 2003), 13f.

16 Virginia Postrel, The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), 117, 120.

17 A similar demographic study has been done in Britain by Experian Micromarketing, under a system called MOSAIC. Their research has identified 52 lifestyle clusters in the UK, including such stand-outs as "rising materialists," "graffitied ghettos," "rootless renters," and "chattering classes." On both PRIZM and MOSAIC, see Michael J. Weiss, The Clustered World: How We Live, What We Buy, and What It All Means about Who We Are (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 2000).

18 James Twitchell, Lead Us into Temptation: The Triumph of American Materialism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), 47.

19 Clive Thompson, "There's a Sucker Born in Every Medial Prefrontal Cortex," New York Times Magazine (October 26, 2004), 54-7.

20 Steven Watts, The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1997), 104.

21 Alexander Wilson, The Culture ofNature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1992), 120.

22 Michael Sorkin, "See You in Disneyland," in Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space, ed. Michael Sorkin (New York: Hill and Wang, 1992), 206. Or, as Eric Mazur and Tara K. Koda have suggested, "The American who can avoid contact with Disney must live in a cave; to reject Disney is to defy a major global force." See their essay, "The Happiest Place on Earth: Disney's America and the Commodi-fication of Religion," in God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture, eds. Eric Marzur and Kate McCarthy (New York: Routledge, 2001), 300.

23 Lyon, Jesus in Disneyland, 3-6.

25 Watts, The Magic Kingdom, 163.

26 As Neal Gabler puts it, because of its attractions, "entertainment conquers reality." See his Life: The Movie (New York: Vintage Books, 1998).

27 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, ed. Richard D. Heffner, trans. Henry Reeve and Frances Bowen (New York: New American Library, 1956), 184.

28 David Gilbert Timothy Wilson and David Centerbar, "Making Sense: The Causes of Emotional Evanescence," in Economics and Psychology, eds. J. Carillo and I. Brocas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 209-33; and David Gilbert and Timothy Wilson, "Miswanting: Some Problems in the Forecasting of Future Affective States," in Thinking and Feeling: The Role of Affect in Social Cognition, ed. J. Forgas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Also good on this is Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (New York: HarperCollins, 2004).

29 Dick Hebdige, "The Bottom Line on Planet One: Squaring up to The Face," in Ten-8, vol. 19 (1987), 45.

30 Augustine, Confessions, X.8.

31 In addition to the films discussed here, one could add Kore-eda Hirokazu's After Life (1998) and Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall (1990).

32 Hebdige, "The Bottom Line on Planet One," 44.

33 Augustine, Confessions, X.17.

34 Wim Wenders, On Film: Essays and Conversations (London: Faber & Faber, 2001), 379.

35 Brenda E. Brasher, "Thoughts on the Status of the Cyborg: On Technological Socialization and Its Link to the Religious Function of Popular Culture," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64/4 (Winter 1996), 809-30. This is an incisive and insightful review of the concept of the cyborg as a root metaphor in our evolving understanding of human nature, perhaps the best place to start in exploring the range of implications of this metaphor in relation to human nature. The pivotal thinker along these lines is, as Brasher points out, Donna Haraway. See Haraway's "Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminist Perspective in the 1980's," in Socialist Review 80 (1985), 65-108; and Simians, Cyborgs and Women: the Reinvention of Nature (London: Free University Press, 1991). Graham Ward is also very good on this. See chapter 8 of his Cities of God (London: Routledge, 2000).

36 In a recent commercial for Nextel Wireless, an entire wedding is conducted in a great old gothic cathedral with all communications going through the flash idiom of instant messaging; bride, groom, minister and every guest in the pews all holding their accessorized personal handsets right in front of their faces: "Doyou?" "I do?" "Do you?" "I do." "Kiss." Smooch. "Husband and wife." Organ plays opening bar of the "Wedding March." Then, "Next!"

37 Simon Frith, Performing Rites: On the Value ofPopular Music (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), 118-22.

38 In his typical promotion of the middle way, he concludes this passage glorying in the pleasures of sound by cautioning, "Yet when I find the singing itself more moving than the truth which it conveys, I confess that this is a grievous sin." Augustine, Confessions, X.33.

39 On this, see Hans Moravec's Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), and Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988); also see Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (London: Penguin Books, 2000). For a theological view on artificial intelligence that is quite positive about the direction these technologies are headed, see Anne Foerst, God in the Machine: What Robots Teach Us about Humanity and God (New York: Dutton Books, 2004). Dr Foerst is a former research scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, and the founding director of The God and Computers Project.

40 Moravec, Mind Children, 4.

41 Quoted in David Noble, The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention (New York: Penguin Books, 1999), 161.

44 Augustine, City of God, 10.29.

45 Augustine, On the Soul and Its Origin, in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, [first series] vol. V, ed. Philip Schaff (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1956), 4.3.

46 Ralph Wood, "John Updike's 'Rabbit' Saga," in Christian Century (January 20, 1982), 50.

47 George Lakoff and Mark Turner, More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 167f.

48 A.I. Artificial Intelligence, directed by Steven Spielberg (Warner Brothers, 2001).

49 Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott (Warner Home Video, 1982).

50 The same kind of endorsement of the human condition has come in from Wim Wender's angels in Wings ofDesire. Recall angel Damien's expression of longing to be human, reported in chapter 1, who wanted "to be able to say, 'Ah!' and 'Oh!' and 'Hey!' instead of 'Yes' and 'Amen.' "

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