Catalogue


Dreaming of Eden : American religion and politics in a wired world /
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite.
imprint
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
description
xi, 228 p.
ISBN
023010780X (hbk.), 9780230107809 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
isbn
023010780X (hbk.)
9780230107809 (hbk.)
abstract
"In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were tempted to take a bite out of an apple that promised them the 'knowledge of good and evil.' Today, a shiny apple with a bite out of it is the symbol of Apple Computers. The age of the Internet has speeded up human knowledge, and it also provides even more temptation to know more than may be good for us. Americans have been right at the forefront of the digital revolution, and we have felt its unsettling effects in both our religions and our politics. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite argues that we long to return to the innocence of the Garden of Eden and not be faced with countless digital choices. But returning to the innocence of Eden is dangerous in this modern age and, instead, we can become wiser about the wired world"--
catalogue key
7322645
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Cover photography Candice Wouters / Candinski Photography
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-05-01:
The topic of Dreaming of Eden is important, and the author is a well-known theologian who has helped readers think through religio-political issues for some time. Thistlethwaite (Chicago Theological Seminary) moves comfortably around "American religion and politics" but is unsure about the subtitle's third component, "a wired world.. While not intended as a scholarly work, this volume would have been well served by some background checking into the vibrant scholarly field of religion and media. Perhaps that would have helped correct such glaring mistakes as considering various media, including Twitter, to "convey meaning through images much more than they do text." (p. 3. Apart from the outworn assumption that images and words are competitors, one wonders what a 140-character image looks like. The book's solid cultural contribution is the reread of the mythology of Eden through a contemporary media lens and the juxtaposition of political and social events with theological insights and media. The section titled "How We Got to Iraq" smartly relates to the penchant for the "Left Behind" series. The final chapters point to prophetic directions for the future. This book will be useful in general library collections but is not a necessary addition for research institutions with decent religion and media sections. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. S. B. Plate Hamilton College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Dreaming of Edenis a fascinating story about stories--how elemental religious narratives about human nature and lost innocence shape our politics and culture in a digital age. Rather than relying on ancient texts or church doctrine, Susan explains how Americans today are creating a new ‘public theology' to help find meaning in their lives and make decisions about complex political issues in a world of rapid-fire information and popular culture. Anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and media will find much ‘wired wisdom' in Susan's new book."--John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress
'Dreaming of Eden is a fascinating story about stories - how elemental religious narratives about human nature and lost innocence shape our politics and culture in a digital age. Rather than relying on ancient texts or church doctrine, Susan explains how Americans today are creating a new 'public theology' to help find meaning in their lives and make decisions about complex political issues in a world of rapid-fire information and popular culture. Anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and media will find much 'wired wisdom' in Susan's new book.' - John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Centre for American Progress
'Dreaming of Eden is a fascinating story about stories - how elemental religious narratives about human nature and lost innocence shape our politics and culture in a digital age. Rather than relying on ancient texts or church doctrine, Susan explains how Americans today are creating a new 'public theology' to help find meaning in their lives and make decisions about complex political issues in a world of rapid-fire information and popular culture. Anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and media will find much 'wired wisdom' in Susan's new book.' - John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Centre for American Progress
" Dreaming of Edenis a fascinating story about stories how elemental religious narratives about human nature and lost innocence shape our politics and culture in a digital age. Rather than relying on ancient texts or church doctrine, Thistlethwaite explains how Americans today are creating a new 'public theology' to help find meaning in their lives and make decisions about complex political issues in a world of rapid-fire information and popular culture. Anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and media will find much 'wired wisdom' in her new book."--John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress "This book is a powerful and prophetic work of public theology for our idolatrous times. The myth of American innocence is not only childish it also is dangerous!"--Cornel West, Princeton University; author of Race Mattersand Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America
"Dreaming of Edenis a fascinating story about stories - how elemental religious narratives about human nature and lost innocence shape our politics and culture in a digital age. Rather than relying on ancient texts or church doctrine, Thistlethwaite explains how Americans today are creating a new ‘public theology' to help find meaning in their lives and make decisions about complex political issues in a world of rapid-fire information and popular culture. Anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and media will find much ‘wired wisdom' in her new book."--John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress"This book is a powerful and prophetic work of public theology for our idolatrous times. The myth of American innocence is not only childish - it also is dangerous!"--Cornel West, Princeton University; author ofRace MattersandKeeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America
"Dangerous Innocenceis a fascinating story about storieshow elemental religious narratives about human nature and lost innocence shape our politics and culture in a digital age. Rather than relying on ancient texts or church doctrine, Susan explains how Americans today are creating a new 'public theology' to help find meaning in their lives and make decisions about complex political issues in a world of rapid-fire information and popular culture. Anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and media will find much 'wired wisdom' in Susan's new book."--John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2011
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Summaries
Main Description
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were tempted to take a bite out of an apple that promised them the "knowledge of good and evil." Today, a shiny apple with a bite out of it is the symbol of Apple Computers. The age of the Internet has speeded up human knowledge, and it also provides even more temptation to know more than may be good for us. Americans have been right at the forefront of the digital revolution, and we have felt its unsettling effects in both our religions and our politics. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite argues that we long to return to the innocence of the Garden of Eden and not be faced with countless digital choices. But returning to the innocence of Eden is dangerous in this modern age and, instead, we can become wiser about the wired world.
Main Description
Thistlethwaite offers a new perspective for how Americans can understand themselves as a nation and their roles in their community and the world. Thistlethwaite offers the novel and arresting thesis that the American concept of exceptional innocence, which has dominated the political landscape from the Reagan years forward, is grounded in the deeply engrained narrative of the Garden of Eden. She argues that this mindset has caused no end of trouble, both domestically and internationally. Examples range from Abu Ghraib to our recent economic near-collapse. Cover photography c Candice Wouters / Candinski Photography
Bowker Data Service Summary
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite argues that we long to return to the innocence of the Garden of Eden and not be faced with countless digital choices. But returning to the innocence of Eden is dangerous in this modern age and, instead, we can become wiser about the wired world.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Taking a Big Byte out of a Wired Worldp. 1
Dreaming of Eden
Adam, Eve, and the Gardenp. 19
Citizens Cain and Abelp. 35
The Danger of Innocence
Iraq and Torturep. 57
Financial Meltdownp. 79
Creation and Climate Changep. 95
A Better Story
The Practice of Goodnessp. 117
National Security: Wisdom Without Innocencep. 139
God Doesn't Run Markets, People Dop. 159
The Millennials: Green Without the Garden?p. 177
Conclusion: Wisdom Lessons from the "Fall"p. 199
Notesp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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