RELIGION, MEDIA, & CULTURE
American Jesus, by Stephen Prothero
Prothero shows how American pictures of Jesus through the late 19th Century through 20th Century change and reflect cultural norms and ideals of the time and how images of the son of god have been shaped in the image of an American psyche.
Bowling Alone, by Robert Putnam
Putnam investigates why participation in fraternal organizations, churches, voting, card clubs and bowling leagues has been on the decline in the United States for decades.
Consuming Religion, by Vincent Miller
Miller examines consumer culture as it has developed in the U.S. and other Western cultures and how consumer practice affects Christian communities and practice.
Everyday Apocalypse, The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons and other Pop Culture Icons, by David Dark
Eschewing hell-fire and brimstone, Dark works with more orthodox Christian definition of apocalypse that is about the presence of a future, hopeful reality within the present and then examines how several significant voices within pop culture media streams are speaking apocalyptic words of truth as non-explicitly Christian voices.
Film as Religion: Myths, Morals, and Rituals, by John Lyden
Lyden makes an argument that they ways people engage film are very similar to how they engage religious experience and therefore the conversations surrounding religion and film should be treated as inter-religious dialogue.
Finding Serenity, ed. Jane Espenson
A collection of essays on various themes in the brief but fabulous Joss Whedon television series, Firefly.
From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural, by Lynn Schofield Clark
Clark examines how teenagers are engaging popular media in order to work out questions of life, religion and the supernatural.
Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence, by Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel
A modernization and democratization theory based on the results of the World Values Survey.
Religion in the News, by Stewart M. Hoover
Hoover, a professor of Media Studies, examines how religion is covered in the news, how religion is engaged by news room staffs and how the religion in the news is received by audiences.
Religion in the Media Age, by Stewart M. Hoover
Hoover argues that as people negotiate meaning and identity, they do so through both religious and media practices, and thus religion and media shares cultural space for meaning and identity.
Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics, by Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart
A secularization theory based on the results of the World Values Survey.
The Culting of Brands: When Customers Become True Believers, by Douglas Atkin
Atkin explores how consumer brands are using techniques of religious communities to attract, build and retain communities of devoted fans of a particular brand. Read my review.
The Flight of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida
This follow up to The Rise of the Creative Class, Florida examines how public policy on the local and national level is hindering and sometimes helping growth of the creative class in the United States.
The Hacker Ethic: and the Spirit of the Information Age, by Pekka Himanen, Linus Torvalds, and Manuel Castells.
An explanation of the creative ethic at work in open source software development that uses religious imagery to explain what the ethic is all about and what it is not about.
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by Max Weber
Weber argues that the values in ascetic Protestantism of the duty to God through labor in a specific calling, the legitimacy of profit, and the rejection of world pleasures and enjoyment of wealth, provided a spiritual and moral ethos for the development of capitalism.
The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida
Florida, an economist, examines the new class of workers in the world who are paid for their creative contributions and how their patterns of life and work are affecting communities and nations.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts On Faith, by Anne Lamott
Lamott gives a frank and funny autobiographical look on life and faith.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VISUAL COMMUNICATION
Capture the Moment The Pulizer Prize Photographs, ed. by Cyma Rubin and Eric Newton.
This is a collection of photographs from each year that a Pulitzer Prize has been awarded beginning with the first award in 1942 through 2003. In the case of Prizes awarded to photo portfolios, not all images in the portfolio are printed in this book.
Chased By the Light, by Jim Brandenburg
Nature photographer, Jim Brandenburg takes on a 90 day journey in which he takes one photo a day for 90 days. The book prints each of the 90. All are good, many are outstanding.
China: Fifty Years Inside the People’s Republic
A photo collection that explores 5 decades of life inside China.
Eyes of Time Photojournalism in America, by Marianne Fulton
Fulton and others provide a history of photojournalism. Although published in the ‘80s it is still a helpful text.
How I Learned Not To Be A Photojournalist, by Dianne Hagaman
Hagaman explores the power dynamics and exclusionary practices embedded in Christian homeless mission organizations in this photo documentary.
Japan: A Nisei’s First Encounter, by Doug Beasley
A beautiful collection of photos of Japan wonderfully printed and bound.
A collection of photo essays by Magnum photographers.
A 50 year retrospective collection of the works of Magnum photographers.
On Photography, by Susan Sontag
A classic collection of essays regarding photography.
Picturing Faith, by Colleen McDannell
McDannell examines the lived faith of early 20th Century Americans as seen in the photographs of the Farm Securities Administration collection.
Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag
Sontag presents an excellent analysis on the connection of photography and images of atrocity, violence, and suffering.
Remembering to Forget, by Barbie Zelizer
Zelizer makes a detailed analysis of how photographs were used to portray the atrocities of the Nazi Concentration Camps and how those photographs are linked to collective memory.
Reinventing Comics, by Scott McCloud
A look at how digital technologies are changing the comic industry and how those technologies might be used to expand and develop the genre. The market forces explored in this book and possible solutions are similar to the same forces at play in other visual media.
Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web, by David Weinberger
Weinberger paints a picture about what the web is, what it does, and what it tells us about ourselves.
The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman
A collection of the landmark graphic novels Maus I and Maus II.
Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud
McCloud shows how comics are constructed, showing how in comic form; an excellent resource for anyone interested in visual communication.