A humanistic Jew spent a year immersed in the Christian entertainment world. When he came back up for breath, Daniel Radosh wrote about the $7 billion industry.
In Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, Radosh describes his experiences with the Cornerstone Music Festival, Christian comedians, creationist Ken Ham, Bibleman, Ultimate Christian Wrestling, Jay Bakker, and others.
Actually, he concludes, merging pop culture and Jesus isn't as bad as he expected:
"The best aspects of Christian culture the unabashed celebration of the transcendent, the challenge to crass materialism, the commitment to personal responsibility helped me see more clearly what is too often lacking in secular entertainment and media," Radosh writes. "Jesus' radical message of brotherhood, selflessness, and dignity may be just the antidote to our contemporary ethos of shamelessness and overindulgence."
Radosh is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and a contributing editor at The Week magazine. He also blogs at Radosh.net.
What prompted you to work on this book?
The initial idea for it came because the world is totally unfamiliar to me as a secular Jewish New Yorker. But I have a teenage sister-in-law who is a born-again Christian, and I met her for the first time visiting my wife's family in Wichita and tagged along with her and her Christian friends to a rock festival. At that point I really wanted to try to understand what was going on in this society, and how I could have missed it all these years.
Did you have something you wanted to accomplish, or was your intent pure observation?
Honestly, I did it because a lot of it is quite funny. I think even many Christians will recognize how humorous a lot ...