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Posted August 12, 2009
Gerardo Marti's book, grounded in careful ethnographic work, helps us make sense of the tension between evangelical Christianity and the Hollywood entertainment industry through a fascinating study of the Oasis Christian Center, a multiracial church in Hollywood.
Marti makes a compelling argument demonstrating how believers at Oasis overcome disappointment and heartache experienced in the Hollywood industry. Using the metaphor of "champion of life," Marti shows how Oasis believers develop a new religious identity nurtured within a relational Christian community. In addition, the first part of the book includes an interesting history of the emergence of the entertainment industry in Hollywood.
The undergraduate students in my sociology of religion course found the book fun to read, particularly the timely discussion of the obsession with celebrity in the United States. This accessible book should be read by anyone interested in the future of American religious organizations in the twenty-first century.
--Walt Bower, University of Kentucky
Posted August 7, 2009
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