pop culture

pop culture

“The devil should not have all the best tunes.” We baroque-loving church folk like to quote that, when justifying our devotion to jazz or, though not in my case, rock music. Think today of Christian jazz or “Christian rock.”

Fairy tales don't only belong to the domain of childhood. Their overt themes are threaded throughout hit TV series like Game of Thrones and True Blood, Grimm and Once Upon a Time. These stories survive, says Maria Tatar, by adapting across cultures and history. They are carriers of the plots we endlessly re-work in the narratives of our lives — helping us work through things like fear and hope.

Guess what famous actress gave our public radio program a shout-out in InStyle magazine?

In a fun, lively conversation with the comedian extraordinaire, Joanna Brooks discusses the fears, tensions, and survivalist instinct of Mormons of today. And Jon Stewart offers some advice on her "baby" religion growing up.

A joyful story on how bluegrass music brought together a country music star and klezmer virtuoso to record the classic 18th-century hymn, "The Lord Will Provide."

Amoral zombies. Loving vampires. Righteous serial killers. And lots of God. That's all in the new TV season — a place where great writers and actors are telling the story of our time — playfully, violently, soulfully.

During the past decade, there has been an explosion of films and television programs containing religious and spiritual themes. Mel Gibson's The "Passion of the Christ" was only the tip of the iceberg. As new generations of Americans work out their spiritual and religious questions, they are increasingly turning to fantasy. We'll explore the deeper appeal of films like "Harry Potter" and "The Matrix," and we'll ask how fantasy in media reflects a changing spiritual imagination, especially in younger Americans.

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