pop culture

pop culture

BY Trent Gilliss May 04, 2016

From Game of Thrones to a biological time capsule in Norway, fascinating reads on what's happening in our collective culture with wise meditations on mutual trust in our individual power to rise and thrive.

BY Trent Gilliss April 26, 2016

We lost a beloved cultural icon last week, and his life of work has inspired an outpouring of love in music and story. Celebrations of Prince's life accompany praise for standing up together, in support of our strengths and growth from moments of weakness.

BY Mohammed Fairouz February 16, 2016

Some of our greatest cultural treasures are seemingly beyond reproach when it comes to honest criticism. Watching The King and I, a composer acknowledges the inherent racism and reflects on how we can appreciate its art and still question in ethical and moral shortcomings alongside its greatness.

BY Katharine Rose January 11, 2016

Adele's journey of questioning and growth, and her resonance with listeners of all walks of life, reveals the power of her music to navigate us through our own paths of self-discovery.

BY Trent Gilliss December 22, 2015

With 2015 drawing to a close, our Letter from Loring Park features stirring essays and homespun music focusing on the true importance of Advent, the celebration of Rumi, and reimagining the icons and traditions of our popular culture.

BY Rahim Snow December 16, 2015

As excitement abounds for the latest Star Wars film, one wonders about the hold that these stories have on us. More than pop culture, these films and characters are part of our modern-day mythologies, reflecting the conflicts that we face every day and helping us to understand ourselves.

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.

BY August 28, 2012

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

BY 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.

BY 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.

BY 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."

BY 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.

BY 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.

BY 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.

BY March 07, 2011

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

BY 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:

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