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Christmas Unwrapped : Consumerism, Christ, and Culture -  Horsley

Christmas Unwrapped

Consumerism, Christ, and Culture

Paperback Published: 1st August 2001
ISBN: 9781563383199

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It is as predictable as the sunrise or sunset. Early on Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers flock to the stores unleashing a month of consumerism unparalleled during any other time of year. Yet it was not always thus. How did Christmas become a consumer event, and what does that say about America today? Christmas Unwrapped, edited by Richard Horsley and James Tracy, offers a fascinating critique of the American Christmas from the perspectives of cultural studies, theology, and biblical studies. Their central argument is that Christmas with its attendant mythology (Christmas carols, It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street), icons (Santa Claus), and rituals (gift-giving, holiday concerts, Christmas shopping) has become a new religion in America, the religion of consumer capitalism. Looking at Christmas from a wide range of perspectives, some of the essays examine the social history of the American Christmas and show the ways in which it differs from the European celebration. Others explore the holiday in celluloid by examining "classic" Christmas movies. Additional essays focus on the infancy narratives in the Gospels, comparing the clash of cultures between early Christianity and the Hellenistic world and reexamining the stories in their Roman/Jewish political-economic-religious context. As the contributors to this lucid and accessible critique of American culture demonstrate Jesus is definitely not the reason for the season. Contributors include: Kathleen M. Sands (University of Massachusetts Boston); Paula Cooey (Macalester College); Richard Horsley (University of Massachusetts Boston); Max A. Myers (St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, New York); Arthur P. Simonds (University of Massachusetts Boston); and Elizabeth Fleck (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). Richard Horsley is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the author of Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs. James Tracy is Headmaster of Boston University Academy.

Industry Reviews

"More than just 'putting christ back in Christmas, ' this book provides a clarion call for an authentic church to understand its identity and witness in the midst of a pagan culture." The Other Side, Nov. & Dec. 2002.

Introductionp. 1
The Formative History Of American Christmas
The Armistice over Christmas: Consuming in the Twentieth Centuryp. 9
Christmas in the Sixtiesp. 19
The Culture Of American Christmas
Christmas on Celluloid: Hollywood Helps Construct the American Christmasp. 39
Still Dreaming: War, Memory, and Nostalgia in the American Christmasp. 55
The Holy Days and the Wholly Dazed: Christmas and the "Spirit of Giving"p. 84
Saviors and Messiahs, Biblical and Other
The Gospel of the Savior's Birthp. 113
Messiah, Magi, and Model Imperial Kingp. 139
Theoretical And Theological Reflections
Christmas: The Religion of Consumer Capitalismp. 165
Santa Claus as an Icon of Gracep. 188
What Child Is This? Lynch v. Donnelly and the Celebration of Christmas in the United Statesp. 199
Epiloguep. 219
Contributorsp. 225
Indexp. 226
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781563383199
ISBN-10: 1563383195
Audience: BAC
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Published: 1st August 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.61 x 15.24  x 1.78
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1

Earn 213 Qantas Points
on this Book