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Paperback Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X Book

ISBN: 0787955272

ISBN13: 9780787955274

Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X

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Book Overview

Reveals the deep and pervasive search for meaning that haunts Generation X. This book is must reading for anyone who would understand the spirituality of young people at the turn of a new... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Is tradition the answere?

Virtual Faith is a free flowing theological interpretation of the heart beat of modern culture. The question the author asks is "will you be there for me?" In the modern age, this question is paramount to Gen Xers. Those who grew up in one parent or no parent households. It seems that the alienation the Xer's feel is rooted in their abandonment an isolation by their elders! This is a generation without rites of passage as found in native cultures. Xer's mistrust modern forms of establishment. Tom suggests that Tradition may offer something to Xer's who in fact are quite spiritual. This is a great book! The older generation stands to learn much in its pages! My only criticism of the book is rooted in my own alienation from the tradition he speaks favorabley about. While there is a richness in traditonal forms of Christianity it is rarely exercised in modern forms of practice these days. Patriarchal forns are oppresive and mean spirited to the Souls of women and other minorities.The Pope speaks eloquently and correctly about injustice outside the Catholic Church. About injustice within the Church he is silent and culpably negligent. I give this book my highest recommendation!

Not perfect, but deserving of all the praise it has gotten

This book has been a huge influence on young adults, on parents of young adults, on pastors, and many others. Because of this, I approached the book with some skepticism, thinking that it might be "selling out" my generation.But I was surprised. I have 3 main comments:1. The book not only makes many fascinating comments about how our spiritual lives interact with our cultural lives, but the author has a sense of humor about him. Some of his interpretations of popular culture are over the top, but I wonder if he didn't intend to be excessive, so as to be ironic in his own way? (He talks about irony being a key trait in contemporary culture.)2. The four basic themes he talks about are spot on for younger generations today: suspicion, experience, suffering, ambiguity.3. I only wish he could have sampled some more "ethnic" forms of pop culture, like African-American or Latin music. But he doesn't claim to do everything, and no one can do it all in one book.

VF deserves critical engagement and thoughtful criticism

I admit at the outset that I know Tom, have read much of what he has written, and am in frequent conversation with him about the ideas expressed in Virtual Faith and beyond. With that said, I want to express my deep frustration with the many simplistic reviews I have read by people who either have not actually read the book in its entirety or have not given it the thoughtfully critical reading it deserves. Too often, instead, what emerges from reviewers is: either a reductionistic review of the book (it's all about sex, tattoos, and videos or grunge, piercings, and goth), a rejection because of its "exclusivity" (i.e., Tom is white, male, and straight and didn't attempt -- or claim, if you would read his introductory remarks -- to have written a book that would encompass all of Generation X in its racial, sexual, religious, and class diversity -- a monumental and probably impossible task), partial or total rejection because he uses creative liberty in his interpretations of popular music videos and fashion trends, or because of the way he "blasphemously" approaches religious issues in his book. What Tom offers in VF is his single, interested, informed (you would be hard-pressed to find a 30-year old better read in theology and cultural studies or more involved in lay ministry in the Catholic Church) and, yes, white, male, and (Catholic) Christian interpretation of our generation for us and those who work with us from other generations to consider carefully in light of our *own* experiences, thoughts, ideas, religious confessions and/or spiritualities -- to begin a dialogue on these themes. To talk with each other. To add our own voices. To revise (or change radically if that's appropriate) what he wrote. To look at how it is (or isn't) that the popular culture in which we are involved and the religiosity we claim or do not claim, live implicitly or explicitly, interact -- what that means, and what claims that should make on us for social justice work, ministry, and a development of our generational understanding of right living in this f-d up world. How is what he described different for African American, Latino/a, Asian American, or Native American GenXers? Are there places of overlap? How does being gay, lesbian, or bisexual alter the picture? These (and more) are excellent questions to raise after reading VF but not sufficient critiques to levy against it. They point the way to further work and dialogue that needs to happen.

A must read for any church thinking about contempory worship

A must read for any church thinking about adding a contemporary worship service. Tell your committee to stop and read Tom Beaudoin's new book, Virtual Faith. If your target audience is 20 - 30 years old today, you just might be on the wrong track. Beaudoin gives us a mind expanding look at a generation we thought we knew. Ministers, Christian Educators and Worship Planners all need to read his book before discerning where the Holy Spirit is leading the church in the new millennium. Kate Walsh, Christian Educator and Seminary Student, The Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Beaudoin hits home with relevant book on Spirituality

Beaudoin has taken the events of his life, and of many other Xer's lives, and interpreted them in the scope of "what it means to be spiritual or religious in the 1990's." The book results in a fascinating examination of what we Xers have usually taken as commonplace or just plain old pop culture, and placed it under his theological microscope. His answers or suggestions in drawing parallels between our lives in pop culture and our lives in religious culture are ground-breaking and breathtaking. A must read for anyone who is: a GenX member, a clergyman who works with youth, and anyone serious about their spiritual life.
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