Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction: Christianity and the Battle for the Soul of a Nation

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9780664230883: Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction: Christianity and the Battle for the Soul of a Nation

Holiness and hedonism. Lonesomeness and community. Tradition and progress. Highly regarded commentator on Christianity and popular culture Rodney Clapp argues that these great tensions form the bedrock of American history and our current culture. Utilizing the life and music of Johnny Cash to illustrate these and other American contradictions, he probes these phenomena with sharp theological questions--seeking the language and knowledge that will enable us to reach across political and cultural divides and encourage a more graceful and constructive negotiation of current contradictions.

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About the Author:

Rodney Clapp is Editorial Director of Brazos Press and the author of a number of books, including Border Crossings: Christian Trespasses on Popular Culture and Public Affairs; Tortured Wonders: Christian Spirituality for People, Not Angels; and A Peculiar People: The Church As Culture in a Post-Christian Society.

From Publishers Weekly:

Johnny Cash was not an uncontroversial figure in American history and religion, which is why it is so daring to use him as a symbol for the contradictions inherent in U.S. popular and political culture. Clapp, an acclaimed author (Border Crossings and Tortured Wonders) and the editorial director at Brazos Press, attempts to call a truce on the polarizing culture wars. His astute observations about U.S. politics and the longstanding influence of the American South neither demonize nor canonize the culture, but rather uncover religious and social implications that have a deep and profound history. Cash, asserts Clapp, contained all of the contradictions found in U.S. culture and history: holiness and hedonism, guilt and innocence, tradition and progress. Clapp utilizes a bevy of examples drawn from Catholic and Protestant literature, music and art to assemble a truly ecumenical book. We need more reflections on religion and American culture that are as cogent and insightful as Clapp's. He offers a bold and important foray into the murky intersection of religion and culture; he does not claim to provide all of the correct answers, but is aiming the dialogue in the right direction. (Mar.)
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