Eyes Wide Open
Grounded in Christian principles, this accessible and engaging book offers an informed and fascinating approach to popular culture. William D. Romanowski provides affectionate yet astute analysis of familiar, well-loved movies and television characters from Indiana Jones to Homer Simpson, and...
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Grounded in Christian principles, this accessible and engaging book offers an informed and fascinating approach to popular culture. William D. Romanowski provides affectionate yet astute analysis of familiar, well-loved movies and television characters from Indiana Jones to Homer Simpson, and he speaks with historical depth and expertise on films from Casablanca to Crash and music from Bruce Springsteen to U2. Romanowski's confessional approach affirms a role for popular culture in faithful living. Practical, analytical approaches to content, meaning, and artistic style offer the tools to participate responsibly and imaginatively in popular cultural activities. An engaging read, this new edition introduces students and thoughtful readers to popular culture--one of the most influential forces in contemporary society.
Contents Preface Introduction Part 1 1. State Of The Art 2. The Smoke Goes Upwards 3. Terms Of The Trade Part 2 4. Close Encounters Of The High, Low, And Divine Kind 5. Mapping Reality 6. Measuring Christian Distinction 7. Popular Art As Art Part 3 8. Cultural Landscape 9. The American Melodramatic Way 10. The Message In The Bottle 11. A History Of Violence Conclusion Appendix Notes Relevant Readings Index
Praise for the revised (second) edition:"This revised and expanded edition of Eyes Wide Open, already a standard on the topic, widens and deepens the discourse on the popular entertainment arts. Readers will find in William Romanowski''s imaginative and down-to-earth approach to popular art as art a manifesto of Christian involvement and a matrix assessment of the sights and sounds that inescapably shape our everyday life."--Scott Young, founder, City of Angels Film Festival"When Eyes Wide Open first came out we celebrated! It was just the text we were looking for. In our media-saturated age we felt we needed a resource that could both equip students to understand the nature of the genres they consume and give them the ''eyes'' to bring appropriate critique as well. Romanowski''s book has done that for us and more. At Geneva College we have used it for the last several years in one of our core classes. How could we be anything but enthusiastic to see the new edition? As a sociologist I struggle to get my students to see how their own habits connect to the broader society in which they live, what C. Wright Mills called the ''sociological imagination.'' I have seldom seen a resource that makes that happen like Romanowski''s book. His scholarship is impeccable, his writing is engaging, and his faith perspective is compelling. I not only teach from it but I deeply enjoy it and highly recommend it."--Bradshaw Frey, Geneva College"I have used Eyes Wide Open as a companion text in my Introduction to Mass Communication course. Students find Romanowski''s cogent synthesis of complex theological and philosophical concepts both accessible and engaging. Simply put, the book helps students to ''think Christianly'' about faith and culture in meaningful ways--ways that challenge overly simplistic sacred-secular dichotomies that tend to prevent Christians from critical participation in contemporary culture. Romanowski''s work articulates in a compelling way how a faith-based perspective can function as the filter for our consumption, critique, and even creation of popular art and culture. Regardless of your church background, this book should resonate at some level."--Robert Woods, Spring Arbor University "Eyes Wide Open provides clear biblical insights, accessible aesthetic criteria, and challenging approaches to what is often our all too casual interaction with popular culture. Romanowski''s book provides an excellent tool for students to learn the skills to navigate ''the world behind the art.'' Over the last several years Eyes Wide Open has become the favorite text of our students. They find it interesting, relevant, and easy to discuss and apply. And with this updated version that links the examples to the most recent experience of students, I''m sure it will continue to be enthusiastically embraced. So give it a try--you''ll laugh, you''ll cry--it''s better than Cats."--Terry Thomas, Geneva College"As a professor of popular culture at a faith-based university, I find Eyes Wide Open an ideal text. It has academic rigor yet does not overwhelm undergraduates; it has strong theology yet does not rely upon a Christian readership. Without compromising scholarship, Bill Romanowski is able to make abstract ideas concrete with clear and compelling explanations, specific illustrations, and accessible language. He has done professors and students a great favor and has gone a long way in equipping the next generation of culture makers as agents of change and agents of grace."--Monica Ganas, Azusa Pacific UniversityPraise for the first edition:"Eyes Wide Open is a ''must'' book for every thinking Christian who is concerned with popular culture, but who is also concerned with the way Christians can ''demonize'' that culture. When we rush to our nice, ''militarily defended'' bastions of ''Christianized'' culture, we deprive ourselves of reality and we deprive the culture of the witness and truth Christians owe the world. Repent! The works of repentance, in this case, can sta
William D. Romanowski (Ph.D., Bowling Green State University) is professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin College and is a widely respected speaker on subjects dealing with American culture and the entertainment industry. He is the author of Pop Culture Wars: Religion and the Role of Entertainment in American Life, coauthor of Risky Business: Rock in Film, and contributor to Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular Culture, and the Electronic Media. His Gold Medallion Award Winning Book is the best selling, revised and expanded edition of Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture.