Professor co-edits book on religion and popular culture

September 19, 2017, in Latest News, Religious Studies

Dr. Bruce Forbes, professor of religious studies at Morningside College, co-edited the book “Religion and Popular Culture in America, Third Edition,” that was recently published by the University of California Press.

The book is a collection of essays about religion in popular culture, popular culture in religion, popular culture as religion, and religion and popular culture in dialogue.

While the first two editions of the book were fairly similar, 75 percent of the essays in the third edition are new. Forbes said this edition focuses more on world religions, and it is more accessible than previous editions. Topics include a Buddhist smartphone app, weight loss as religion, celebrity worship, megachurches, Muslims in popular culture, and Hinduism and yoga.

Forbes also wrote the introduction and an essay for the third edition. He edited all three editions of the book with Dr. Jeffrey Mahan, professor of ministry, media and culture at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo.

“You have in your hands an indispensable guide to thinking about popular culture,” Dr. Kathryn Lofton, Yale University professor, wrote for the back cover. “Forbes and Mahan show how our entertainments are not just things we consume but objects that define how we express our political sentiments and social identity. Funny, fresh, and sharp – every essay is a gem.”

Forbes is the author of “Christmas: A Candid History,” “America’s Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories,” and numerous articles and book chapters. He holds a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate in the history of American Christianity. He is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

“Religion and Popular Culture in America, Third Edition” can be purchased at the Morningside College Bookstore, Barnes and Noble at the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, Barnes and Noble online and