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Evangelical Christians and Popular Culture

Pop Goes the Gospel

by Robert H. Woods Jr., Editor
Foreword by Mark A. Noll


Evangelical popular culture, often thought to be on the fringes of society, represents a major source of evangelical presence and influence in mainstream American culture. The Passion of the Christ is among the top grossing films of all time, earning more than $370 million in U.S. box office receipts. Evangelical books like The Purpose Driven Life and titles in the Left Behind series are best-sellers. And Christian rock music, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s, continues to be a popular genre of modern music.

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Cover image for Evangelical Christians and Popular Culture

January 2013


Pages 979
Volumes 3
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General
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    Hardcover: £150.00/162,00€/A$249.00

This three-volume collection demonstrates the depth and breadth of evangelical Christians' consumption, critique, and creation of popular culture, and how evangelical Christians are both influenced by—and influence—mainstream popular culture, covering comic books to movies to social media.

Evangelical Christians and Popular Culture: Pop Goes the Gospel addresses the full spectrum of evangelical media and popular culture offerings, even delving into lesser-known forms of evangelical popular culture such as comic books, video games, and theme parks. The chapters in this 3-volume work are written by over 50 authors who specialize in fields as diverse as history, theology, music, psychology, journalism, film and television studies, advertising, and public relations. Volume 1 examines film, radio and television, and the Internet; Volume 2 covers literature, music, popular art, and merchandise; and Volume 3 discusses public figures, popular press, places, and events.

The work is intended for a scholarly audience but presents material in a student-friendly, accessible manner. Evangelical insiders will receive a fresh look at the wide variety of evangelical popular culture offerings, many of which will be unknown, while non-evangelical readers will benefit from a comprehensive introduction to the subject matter.


  • Presents contributions from 57 authors from 43 different institutions of higher learning, both public and private
  • Offers several disciplinary approaches, including history, English, theology, music, psychology, sociology, new media, journalism, communication and media studies, rhetoric and cultural studies, film and television studies, advertising, and public relations
  • Explores how evangelicals produce traditional and nontraditional forms of popular culture and are portrayed and viewed in popular culture and media created by non-evangelicals
  • Examines the ways in which evangelicals and their faith have shaped and been shaped by popular culture
Author Info

Robert H. Woods Jr., PhD, is professor of communication at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, where he teaches in the master's program. He holds a master's degree and doctorate in communication from Regent University and is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is coeditor of The Message in the Music: Studying Contemporary Praise and Worship and Understanding Evangelical Media: The Changing Face of Christian Communication, coauthor of Prophetically Incorrect: A Christian Introduction to Media Criticism, and one of the authors of Media Ethics: Cases in Moral Reasoning.



"This will be a nice addition to American studies, American religion, and communications collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended."Choice

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