From Angels to Aliens

From Angels to Aliens : Teenagers, the Media and the Supernatural

3.09 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$44.99

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Left Behind series are but the latest manifestations of American teenagers' longstanding fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal. In this groundbreaking book, Lynn Schofield Clark explores the implications of this fascination for contemporary religious and spiritual practices. Relying on stories gleaned from more than 250 in-depth interviews with teens and their families, Clark seeks to discover what today's teens really believe and why. She finds that as adherence to formal religious bodies declines, interest in alternative spiritualities as well as belief in "superstition" grow accordingly. Ironically, she argues, fundamentalist Christian alarmism about the forces of evil has also fed belief in a wider array of supernatural entities. L Resisting the claim that the media "brainwash" teens, Clark argues that today's popular stories of demons, hell, and the afterlife actually have their roots in the U.S.'s religious heritage. She considers why some young people are nervous about supernatural stories in the media, while others comfortably and often unselfconsciously blur the boundaries between those stories of the realm beyond that belong to traditional religion and those offered by the entertainment media. At a time of increased religious pluralism and declining participation in formal religious institutions, Clark says, we must completely reexamine what young people mean-and what they may believe-when they identify themselves as "spiritual" or "religious." L Offering provocative insights into how the entertainment media shape contemporary religious ideas and practices, From Angels to Aliens paints a surprising-and perhaps alarming-portrait of the spiritual state of America's youth.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 166.1 x 247.4 x 27.2mm | 571.54g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0195156099
  • 9780195156096

About Lynn Schofield Clark

Lynn Schofield Clark is Assistant Research Professor at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and co-editor of Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media: Explorations in Media, Religion, and Culture (2002). A former television producer and marketing professional, Clark has provided volunteer leadership with young people for more than fifteen years. She currently teaches critical/cultural studies approaches to media, and is Director of the Teens and the New Media @ Home Project.show more

Review quote

"Goes a long way towards putting religion and spirituality in a context with media interpretation and communicative practice.. the writing weaves popular culture, theory, and the stories of the teens in a way that is engaging and accessible to those experienced in the field, as well as to students."-- Journal of Communication"What Wade Clark Roof did for understanding Baby Boomer spirituality with A Generation of Seekers, Clark does with this insightful, well-written... introduction to the spiritual lives of a new generation...engaging and fast-paced."--Publishers Weekly"Intelligently written, this study will interest both scholars and casual readers"--Library Journal..".provides a number of intriguing insights into teen spirituality and a solid understanding of the central role of religion in American culture"--The Washington Post Book World"Working at the interstices of adolescence, spirituality, and the media, Lynn Schofield Clark finds, among other things, that popular interest in the supernatural can be attributed to the resurgence of evangelicalism in recent decades. It is a most provocative thesis, and From Angels to Aliens makes for a fascinating book.--Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America"A truly unique book, From Angels to Aliens uses solid empirical evidence to spin out an engaging story about adolescence and media culture, with an ironic twist about traditional evangelicalism unintentionally promoting a broad cultural fascination with the supernatural and the occult." --Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Director of the National Study of Youth and Religion"In this subtle and focused study Lynn Schofield Clark addresses one of the most significant linkages in contemporary social experience--religion, mass media, and the youth audiences addressed by both. The connecting point is the fluid notion of 'the supernatural.' Clark shows just how complex these topics come to be in any attempt to understand how 'teens' work to define their own beliefs in a world flooded with images and symbols yet still structured by categories such as the family, economic conditions, and peer groups. This book is valuable for sociologists of religion, media studies scholars, and students of 'youth culture.' Even more important, it should direct the attention of these groups to topics too often neglected or dismissed as trivial."--Horace Newcomb, Lambdin Kay Distinguished Professor for the Peabodys, Director of the Peabody Awards Program"This is an important study for two reasons, one, it helps us to better understand the world of the supernatural as seen through the eyes of teenagers, and two, it sheds new insight on the crucial role of the media in the formation of supernatural beliefs-even on the part of those who resist media influence. Highly recommended for general readers, and not just for academics who study religion and the media." --Wade Clark Roof, J.F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society, University of California at Santa Barbara "Goes a long way towards putting religion and spirituality in a context with media interpretation and communicative practice.. the writing weaves popular culture, theory, and the stories of the teens in a way that is engaging and accessible to those experienced in the field, as well as to students."-- Journal of Communication "What Wade Clark Roof did for understanding Baby Boomer spirituality with A Generation of Seekers, Clark does with this insightful, well-written... introduction to the spiritual lives of a new generation...engaging and fast-paced."--Publishers Weekly "Intelligently written, this study will interest both scholars and casual readers"--Library Journal .,."provides a number of intriguing insights into teen spirituality and a solid understanding of the central role of religion in American culture"--The Washington Post Book World "Working at the interstices of adolescence, spirituality, and the media, Lynn Schofield Clark finds, among other things, that popular interest in the supernatural can be attributed to the resurgence of evangelicalism in recent decades. It is a most provocative thesis, and From Angels to Aliens makes for a fascinating book.--Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America "A truly unique book, From Angels to Aliens uses solid empirical evidence to spin out an engaging story about adolescence and media culture, with an ironic twist about traditional evangelicalism unintentionally promoting a broad cultural fascination with the supernatural and the occult." --Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Directorof the National Study of Youth and Religion "In this subtle and focused study Lynn Schofield Clark addresses one of the most significant linkages in contemporary social experience--religion, mass media, and the youth audiences addressed by both. The connecting point is the fluid notion of 'the supernatural.' Clark shows just how complex these topics come to be in any attempt to understand how 'teens' work to define their own beliefs in a world flooded with images and symbols yet still structured by categories such as the family, economic conditions, and peer groups. This book is valuable for sociologists of religion, media studies scholars, and students of 'youth culture.' Even more important, it should direct the attention of these groups to topics too often neglected or dismissed as trivial."--Horace Newcomb, Lambdin Kay Distinguished Professor for the Peabodys, Director of the Peabody Awards Program "This is an important study for two reasons, one, it helps us to better understand the world of the supernatural as seen through the eyes of teenagers, and two, it sheds new insight on the crucial role of the media in the formation of supernatural beliefs-even on the part of those who resist media influence. Highly recommended for general readers, and not just for academics who study religion and the media." --Wade Clark Roof, J.F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society, University of California at Santa Barbara "Goes a long way towards putting religion and spirituality in a context with media interpretation and communicative practice.. the writing weaves popular culture, theory, and the stories of the teens in a way that is engaging and accessible to those experienced in the field, as well as to students."-- Journal of Communication "What Wade Clark Roof did for understanding Baby Boomer spirituality with A Generation of Seekers, Clark does with this insightful, well-written... introduction to the spiritual lives of a new generation...engaging and fast-paced."--Publishers Weekly "Intelligently written, this study will interest both scholars and casual readers"--Library Journal , .."provides a number of intriguing insights into teen spirituality and a solid understanding of the central role of religion in American culture"--The Washington Post Book World "Working at the interstices of adolescence, spirituality, and the media, Lynn Schofield Clark finds, among other things, that popular interest in the supernatural can be attributed to the resurgence of evangelicalism in recent decades. It is a most provocative thesis, and From Angels to Aliens makes for a fascinating book.--Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America "A truly unique book, From Angels to Aliens uses solid empirical evidence to spin out an engaging story about adolescence and media culture, with an ironic twist about traditional evangelicalism unintentionally promoting a broad cultural fascination with the supernatural and the occult." --Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology at theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Director of the National Study of Youth and Religion "In this subtle and focused study Lynn Schofield Clark addresses one of the most significant linkages in contemporary social experience--religion, mass media, and the youth audiences addressed by both. The connecting point is the fluid notion of 'the supernatural.' Clark shows just how complex these topics come to be in any attempt to understand how 'teens' work to define their own beliefs in a world flooded with images and symbols yet still structured by categories such as the family, economic conditions, and peer groups. This book is valuable for sociologists of religion, media studies scholars, and students of 'youth culture.' Even more important, it should direct the attention of these groups to topics too often neglected or dismissed as trivial."--Horace Newcomb, Lambdin Kay Distinguished Professor for the Peabodys, Director of the Peabody Awards Program "This is an important study for two reasons, one, it helps us to better understand the world of the supernatural as seen through the eyes of teenagers, and two, it sheds new insight on the crucial role of the media in the formation of supernatural beliefs-even on the part of those who resist media influence. Highly recommended for general readers, and not just for academics who study religion and the media." --Wade Clark Roof, J.F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society, University of California at Santa Barbara "Goes a long way towards putting religion and spirituality in a context with media interpretation and communicative practice.. the writing weaves popular culture, theory, and the stories of the teens in a way that is engaging and accessible to those experienced in the field, as well as tostudents."-- Journal of Communication"What Wade Clark Roof did for understanding Baby Boomer spirituality with A Generation of Seekers, Clark does with this insightful, well-written... introduction to the spiritual lives of a new generation...engaging and fast-paced."--Publishers Weekly"Intelligently written, this study will interest both scholars and casual readers"--Library Journal.,."provides a number of intriguing insights into teen spirituality and a solid understanding of the central role of religion in American culture"--The Washington Post Book World"Working at the interstices of adolescence, spirituality, and the media, Lynn Schofield Clark finds, among other things, that popular interest in the supernatural can be attributed to the resurgence of evangelicalism in recent decades. It is a most provocative thesis, and From Angels to Aliens makesfor a fascinating book.--Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America"A truly unique book, From Angels to Aliens uses solid empirical evidence to spin out an engaging story about adolescence and media culture, with an ironic twist about traditional evangelicalism unintentionally promoting a broad cultural fascination with the supernatural and the occult." --ChristianSmith, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill andDirector of the National Study of Youth and Religion"In this subtle and focused study Lynn Schofield Clark addresses one of the most significant linkages in contemporary social experience--religion, mass media, and the youth audiences addressed by both. The connecting point is the fluid notion of 'the supernatural.' Clark shows just how complex thesetopics come to be in any attempt to understand how 'teens' work to define their own beliefs in a world flooded with images and symbols yet still structured by categories such as the family, economic conditions, and peer groups. This book is valuable for sociologists of religion, media studiesscholars, and students of 'youth culture.' Even more important, it should direct the attention of these groups to topics too often neglected or dismissed as trivial."--Horace Newcomb, Lambdin Kay Distinguished Professor for the Peabodys, Director of the Peabody Awards Program"This is an important study for two reasons, one, it helps us to better understand the world of the supernatural as seen through the eyes of teenagers, and two, it sheds new insight on the crucial role of the media in the formation of supernatural beliefs-even on the part of those who resist mediainfluence. Highly recommended for general readers, and not just for academics who study religion and the media." --Wade Clark Roof, J.F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society, University of California at Santa Barbarashow more

Rating details

21 ratings
3.09 out of 5 stars
5 5% (1)
4 29% (6)
3 48% (10)
2 10% (2)
1 10% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X