Understanding Culture

Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat New York: Picador, 2007

In this new edition, Thomas L. Friedman includes fresh stories and insights to help us understand the flattening of the world.

Geertz, Clifford The Interpretation Of Cultures New York: Basic Books, 1977

Classic essays by one of the most original and stimulating anthropologists of his generation on what culture is, what role it plays in social life, and how it ought to be properly studied.

Guiness, Os The Last Christian on Earth: Uncover the Enemy's Plot to Undermine the Church Ventura: Regal, 2010

The Last Christian on Earth is an incisive and wide-ranging analysis of what has happened to bring about the decline of the Church in America and the West and an open and passionate plea for reformation and revival. Using the device of one spy writing memoranda to another on how to undermine the Church, Os Guinness helps us to see ourselves as others see us and to recognize what has really caused the damage. It is much more than a critique, and it does not finish pessimistically.

Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order New York: Touchstone, 1998

Based on the author's seminal article in Foreign Affairs, Samuel P. Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order is a provocative and prescient analysis of the state of world politics after the fall of communism. In this incisive work, the renowned political scientist explains how "civilizations" have replaced nations and ideologies as the driving force in global politics today and offers a brilliant analysis of the current climate and future possibilities of our world's volatile political culture.

Jenkins, Philip The Next Christendom New York: Oxford University Press, 2007

The first edition of The Next Christendom has been hailed as a landmark in our understanding of modern Christianity. In this new and substantially expanded second edition, Jenkins continues to illuminate the remarkable expanion of Christianity in the global South--in Africa, Asia, and Latin America--as well as the clash betwen Islam and Christianity since September 11.

Lasch, Christopher The Culture of Narcissism New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991

When The Culture of Narcissism was first published, it was clear that Christopher Lasch had identified something important: what was happening to American society in the wake of the decline of the family over the last century. The book quickly became a bestseller.

Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture New York: Oxford University Press, 2006

Fundamentalism and American Culture has long been considered a classic in religious history, and to this day remains unsurpassed. Now available in a new edition, this highly regarded analysis takes us through the full history of the origin and direction of one of America's most influential religious movements.

McLuhan, Marshall The Medium is the Massage Gingko Press, 2005

With every technological and social "advance" McLuhan's proclamation that "the media work us over completely" becomes more evident and plain. In his words, 'so pervasive are they in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, or unaltered'.

O'Malley, John W. Four Cultures of the West Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006

The workings of Western intelligence in our day--whether in politics or the arts, in the humanities or the church--are as troubling as they are mysterious, leading to the questions: Where are we going? What in the world were we thinking? By exploring the history of four "cultures" so deeply embedded in Western history that we rarely see their instrumental role in politics, religion, education, and the arts, this timely book provides a broad framework for addressing these questions in a fresh way.

Postman, Neil Amusing Ourselves to Death New York: Penguin, 2005

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining controlof our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.

Schaeffer, Francis A. How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005

As one of the foremost evangelical thinkers of the twentieth century, Francis Schaeffer long pondered the fate of declining Western culture. In this brilliant book he analyzed the reasons for modern society’s state of affairs and presented the only viable alternative: living by the Christian ethic, acceptance of God’s revelation, and total affirmation of the Bible’s morals, values, and meaning.

Weigel, George The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God New York: Basic Books, 2006

The most profound question raised by The Cube and the Cathedral is whether there can be any true "politics"--any true deliberation about the common good, and any robust defense of freedom-without God. George Weigel makes a powerful case that the answer is "No"--because, in the final analysis, societies and cultures can only be as great as their spiritual aspirations.

White, James Emery Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005

This book by pastor and professor White (Embracing the Mysterious God) is an antidote to complacency in the face of epochal change. Echoing church historian Christopher Dawson, White argues that we live "at the beginning of the seventh age" for the Christian church, a time of crisis that requires an innovative and determined response.

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