pop culture

pop culture

By Omid Safi May 14, 2015

Zayn Malik's announcement crushed millions of fans' hearts, including that of our columnist Omid Safi. Despite the comforting scenario painted by Stephen Hawking, Omid prefers this one universe, this one place we call home.

By Sharon Salzberg April 05, 2015

Mindfulness and meditation are becoming pop culture buzzwords. But it isn’t just about hearing, seeing, or observing a particular feeling; it’s about doing so in a certain way — with balance and equanimity, and without judgment. Our columnist Sharon Salzberg walks us through the deeper case for mindful attention.

By Norman Allen March 21, 2015

Most of us chant tunes from the classic musical, but have you considered the spiritual lessons that the movie offers?

By Martin E. Marty February 07, 2014

Can something positive appear on a popular TV comedy show? An analysis of the "edgy Catholic Sunday School teacher and TV host as a catechist who can teach other catechists much."

By Trent Gilliss November 24, 2013

Pop culture makes meaning. Enter the Florida State University AcaBelles' a cappella rendition of Lorde's "Royals" to make the point.

August 28, 2012

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

August 23, 2012

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.

May 02, 2012

What happens when a wise, crusty theologian grounded in Christian realism meets an enterprising, teen pop idol buttered in Christian goodness? Reinhold Bieber, that’s what.

February 12, 2012

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."

November 04, 2011

Justin Bieber's Klout score (of online influence) was just surpassed by President Obama this summer. Hear more about how the pop star's Evangelical Christian faith is guiding his stardom.

October 26, 2011

ZOMBIE WALK 2008A mass of people dress up for the Toronto Zombie Walk. (photo: Sam Javanrouh/Flickr, cc by-nc 2.0)

For some reason we’re experiencing a zombie moment. From zombie crawls across the globe to the record-breaking 11 million people who tuned in to watch the season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead, zombies are seemingly everywhere this season. Even sober institutions like The Centers for Disease Control are using zombies to teach us about disaster preparedness.

October 04, 2011

Sam Childers with SPLA SoldiersReverend Sam Childers poses with SPLA soldiers. (photo courtesy of Machine Gun Preacher)

Preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis, and imams number in the hundreds of thousands in the United States. They minister at the borders between what get tabbed “sacred” and “secular” realms, and as such cannot go unnoticed in public media.

March 07, 2011

Can a Qur'anic case be made for or against marijuana? A story from USC's Sharis Delgadillo.

May 26, 2010

Scene from the Season Finale of "Lost"I discovered Lost just a few seasons ago and immersed myself via Netflix with the zeal of a convert. Trent has been asking me to blog about Sunday’s finale, but honestly I’m stumped — still trying to wrap my mind around what it means. For now I am happy to pass on this from Diane Winston, one of my favorite observers of how we are telling the story of our time on television.

She called her blog on the finale “The Day After” and it starts like this:

August 20, 2009

Katherine and hubcap prayer wheel

If you’re the type of person who gets stressed out in traffic, then the hubcap prayer wheel might help bring some calm to your day. Their brief explanation of the Sanskrit decal:

“With Om Mani Padme Hum revolving as you drive, you can help ease your karma while radiating wisdom and compassion into your life and into the world.”

I don’t think it’s going to cure road rage… baby steps, right?

July 30, 2009

These vids from BBC's "Poetry Season" bring Byron and Blake to life — through punk rock and a soccer presser? Absolutely riveting!

July 16, 2009

The Supreme Court candidate shares the impact of television on her life as a prosecutor to the U.S. Senate.

July 15, 2009

The production staff's take on the "assignment" of watching lots of TV for the last TV show with Diane Winston.