From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$20.94
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$15.75
(Save 37%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.07
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 91%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $2.07   
  • New (2) from $26.09   
  • Used (7) from $2.07   

Overview

Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Left Behind series are but the latest manifestations of American teenagers' longstanding fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal. In this groundbreaking book, Lynn Schofield Clark explores the implications of this fascination for contemporary religious and spiritual practices. Relying on stories gleaned from more than 250 in-depth interviews with teens and their families, Clark seeks to discover what today's teens really believe and why. She finds that as adherence to formal religious bodies declines, interest in alternative spiritualities as well as belief in "superstition" grow accordingly. Ironically, she argues, fundamentalist Christian alarmism about the forces of evil has also fed belief in a wider array of supernatural entities.

Resisting the claim that the media "brainwash" teens, Clark argues that today's popular stories of demons, hell, and the afterlife actually have their roots in the U.S.'s religious heritage. She considers why some young people are nervous about supernatural stories in the media, while others comfortably and often unselfconsciously blur the boundaries between those stories of the realm beyond that belong to traditional religion and those offered by the entertainment media. At a time of increased religious pluralism and declining participation in formal religious institutions, Clark says, we must completely reexamine what young people mean—and what they may believe—when they identify themselves as "spiritual" or "religious."

Offering provocative insights into how the entertainment media shape contemporary religious ideas and practices, From Angels to Aliens paints a surprising—and perhaps alarming—portrait of the spiritual state of America's youth.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What Wade Clark Roof did for understanding Baby Boomer spirituality with A Generation of Seekers, Clark does with this insightful, well-written ethnographic introduction to the spiritual lives of a new generation. Clark relies heavily on interviews and first-person reports from teens, then attempts to understand what they are saying through the lens of larger demographic and sociological trends. Many teens (by which Clark means those roughly between the ages of 11 and 21) privilege personal experience over institutional authority and consider themselves spiritual but not necessarily religious. Their spirituality is eclectic and often non-traditional, as they blend elements from the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition with new interest in mysticism, Eastern religions and the occult. Clark, a professor at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism, is very attuned to the significance of media in teens' lives, and offers fascinating explorations into what television programs like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have to say about religion. Most interestingly, Clark also pays attention to the resurgence of "the dark side of evangelicalism," discussing the rise of popular interest in the apocalypse. One later chapter explores the ways some baby boomer parents "intentionally approach the media" and use it to discuss spiritual issues with their children. Clark's writing is engaging and fast-paced, and readers who aren't put off by the book's reliance on social theorists like Bourdieu and Gramsci will find this a surprisingly accessible book. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Evangelical Christian preachers say that the media have always taught immorality and that now they are teaching witchcraft, superstition, and Satanism. Is this all true? A former television producer and marketer, Clark (journalism, Univ. of Chicago) hopes to persuade us that it is not. Admittedly, while flipping through the TV channels or browsing the movie marquees you see Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Harry Potter, The Fellowship of the Ring, Left Behind, and much more. But, the author argues, the obsessions on parade here are identical to those of Evangelical Christianity, which has long shown interest in such topics in its own literature and preachings. In this objective ethnological study, complete with a formal methodology, Clark obtains the reactions of teens themselves and categorizes them as traditionalists, mystics, seekers, experimenters, and resisters to find out just what influence the media have on teenagers. She concludes that teenagers today display the same deep religiosity and curiosity about religion that have always characterized Americans. We have no cause for alarm. Intelligently written, this study will interest both scholars and casual readers. For all libraries.-James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195300239
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/27/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Schofield Clark is Assistant Research Professor at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and co-editor of Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media: Explorations in Media, Religion, and Culture (2002). A former television producer and marketing professional, Clark has provided volunteer leadership with young people for more than fifteen years. She currently teaches critical/cultural studies approaches to media, and is Director of the Teens and the New Media @ Home Project.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Pt. I The Supernatural Today: Why the Fascination?
Introduction: From Angels to Aliens 3
1 Angels, Aliens, and the Dark Side of Evangelicalism 24
2 Touched by a Vampire Named Angel: The Supernatural in Contemporary Teen Popular Culture 46
Pt. II Ethnographic Stories: Teens and their Approaches to Media, Religion, and Supernatural Beliefs
3 The Resisters: Loving Supernatural Legends and Hating Organized Religion 77
4 The Mystical Teens: Blurring the Boundaries between Religious and Fictional Legends 95
5 The Experimenters: Appreciating Both Religion and the Legends of the Supernatural 117
6 The Traditionalists: Affirming the Boundary between Religion and the Media 139
7 The Intrigued Teens (and the Issue of Angels): Wishing to Separate Religion and Legend, but Having Difficulty Doing So 158
Pt. III Contexts and Conclusions
8 Baby Boomers and Their Millennial Kids: Parental Intentions Regarding the Media, Religion, and Beliefs in the Supernatural 183
9 Religion, Class, and Politics: Discussing Aliens and Angels in the Family and in Society 204
10 Conclusion: The Dark Side of Evangelicalism and the Religion of the Possible 224
App. A Comments on Methodology 237
App. B Sample Information 247
Notes 249
Index 285
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)