July 1, 2009
Written by C.N.
As part of this blog’s mission of making academic research and data more easily accessible, understandable, and applicable to a wider audience and to practical, everyday social issues, I highlight new sociological books about Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups as I hear about them. As always, please remember that I highlight them for informational purposes only and do not necessarily endorse their entire content or arguments.
Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church, by Gerardo Marti (Rutgers University Press)
In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So, how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood’s entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals?
For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center. In “Hollywood Faith”, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as “champion of life” – an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance.
The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the “creative class.” “Hollywood Faith” will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "New Book: Multiracial Hollywood Church" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2009/07/new-book-multiracial-hollywood-church/> ().
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