How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World

How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World

How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World

How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World

Synopsis

Incisive insights into contemporary pop culture and its apocalyptic bent

The world is going to hell. So begins this book, pointing to the prevalence of apocalypse -- cataclysmic destruction and nightmarish end-of-the-world scenarios -- in contemporary entertainment.

In How to Survive the Apocalypse Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson examine a number of popular stories -- from the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica to the purging of innocence in Game of Thrones to the hordes of zombies in The Walking Dead -- and argue that such apocalyptic stories reveal a lot about us here and now, about how we conceive of our life together, including some of our deepest tensions and anxieties.

Besides analyzing the dsytopian shift in popular culture, Joustra and Wilkinson also suggest how Christians can live faithfully and with integrity in such a cultural context.

Excerpt

To begin, a confession:

Of the many artifacts of popular visual culture discussed in this marvelously wide-ranging and provocative book, I have seen hardly a single one. No Game of Thrones. No House of Cards. No Mad Men or The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad either.

My nearly complete ignorance, at least firsthand, of these works is first of all a matter of time. tv requires a lot of it, which I never seem to have. One of the many things that astonishes me about Alissa Wilkinson and Rob Joustra is that they manage to maintain lives as professors, family members, friends, and writers — and also actually watch all these hours of television, with critical attention and intelligence to boot!

And I have to admit that another reason I have not engaged with these dystopian, apocalyptic series that so define our cultural moment is that, well, my imagination is dystopian and apocalyptic enough on its own, thank you very much.

But after reading this book, I have a far deeper appreciation for all these works of popular art, and a sense that I’ve been missing out. Does that mean I’m going to binge-watch Mad Men this weekend, or ever? Probably not. But it does heighten my awareness of just how much is happening, of real significance, in popular culture — I’d venture to say, more than at any other point in my adult life.

As our political and educational institutions have waned in their . . .

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