In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood's entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals? For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center.
In Hollywood Faith, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as "champion of life"-an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance.
The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the "creative class," Hollywood Faith will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.
|Publisher:||Rutgers University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments xi
1 Introduction: Negotiating Holiness and Hollywood 1
2 The Making of a Star: Hollywood as Destination and Dream 21
3 Love and Hate between Hollywood and Christianity 39
4 Save the World, Starting in Hollywood 61
5 Celebrity, Heartache, and the Pressure to Make It 87
6 Religion: Playing at a Theater Near You 105
7 Fade to Black 130
8 Becoming Champions of Life 154
9 Conclusion: Religion in the Era of Identity Commodification 177 Appendix Research Methodology 193 Notes 201 Bibliography 209 Index 229
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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