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The Gospel According to the Simpsons, Bigger and Possibly Even Better! Edition [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Mark I. Pinsky

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10. Mai 2007 Gospel According to...
Is there anything holy in Springfield, the home to irascible Bart Simpson and his naive dad Homer, their enthusiastic evangelical neighbor Ned Flanders, the sourpuss minister Rev. Lovejoy, and the dozens of other unique characters who inhabit the phenomenally popular TV show? In this revision of the 2001 bestseller, author Mark Pinsky says yes!In this entertaining and enlightening book, Pinsky shows how The Simpsons engages issues of religion and morality in a thoughtful, provocative, and genuinely respectful way. With three new chapters and updates to reflect the 2001-2006 seasons, Pinsky has given a thorough facelift to the book that Publishers Weekly called "thoughtful and genuinely entertaining."The new material includes chapters on Buddhism and gay marriage and an extensive afterword that explores how religion is treated on the animated shows that have followed in the footsteps of The Simpsons: South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, American Dad, and King of the Hill.

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The Gospel According to the Simpsons, Bigger and Possibly Even Better! Edition + The Springfield Reformation: The Simpsons, Christianity, and American Culture + Bart trifft Gott: Das Evangelium der Simpsons
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"The Simpsons is one of the most subtle pieces of propaganda around in the cause of sense, humility and virtue. Mark Pinsky manages to decipher the code without deadening the humour, which is quite an achievement." The Right Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


The Simpsons is one of the longest running, funniest, most irreverent, and, according to some religious leaders, the most spiritually relevant show on television today. Journalist Mark Pinsky explores the moral and religious dilemmas faced by Homer, Marge, Bart and other key characters in the series - including Ned Flanders (the evangelical next-door neighbour), Reverend Lovejoy (the town's pastor) and the long-suffering Apu (the Hindu shopkeeper). Mark Pinsky looks at the show's treatment of God, Jesus, heaven and hell, the Bible, prayer, and asks why The Simpsons was so strongly denounced by conservative Christians back in the early 90's. He concludes by considering the question, Is The Simpsons supportive or subversive of religious faith? "The Simpsons is one of the most subtle pieces of propaganda around in the cause of sense, humility and virtue. Mark Pinsky manages to decipher the code without deadening the humour, which is quite an achievement." The Right Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Amazon.com: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  56 Rezensionen
71 von 80 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Finding God In Unexpected Places 18. Oktober 2001
Von mjanke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
In THE GOSPEL ACCORDING THE THE SIMPSONS, Mark Pinsky shows us that it's possible to find God in some of the most unexpected places. Originally, The Simpsons was largely eschewed by the evangelical Christian community, because of Bart's rebellious ways. But as the show grew older, and the focus turned more towards Homer, Pinsky shows that people of faith who weren't watching were missing out on some of the most "Christian" television around. Seriously.
The Simpsons not only contains blatantly Christian characters but it explores issues of faith that other shows would never touch with a 50 foot pole. Ned Flanders, though ragged on by Homer a lot, is perhaps the best depiction of an evangelical-type Christian in mainstream television history. Lisa Simpson seems to present the side of the social Gospel. Marge's real faith in God also shines through. Though characters with faith are often made fun of, in the end the show always seems to prove that the joke is on the joker, not the jokee. The Simpsons isn't trying to evangelize, but it is surprisingly fair and evenhanded in its presentations, and with how it deals out the humor. In its history the show has dealt with subjects like cults, hypocricy, why God allows evil, hell, and forgiveness.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS surprised me, made me laugh out loud multiple times each chapter, and was just an all-around enjoyable read. The picture of Christianity that is presented isn't perfect. The writers stumble on theological points many times (such as grace vs. works). This will happen when you're not a theologian and, in most cases, not even a Christian. But in spite of that, Pinsky shows that the Springfield world of Homer is one that is rich in faith and religious devotion. For Christians who can let their hair down and roll with a few jokes, The Simpsons proves that even in the midst of our post-Christian culture, in Hollywood, and even on the Fox Network, God can be found if you dare to look for Him. As Homer might say, "Mmmmm.... a FIVE STAR book..."
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen D'oh-licious! 10. Juni 2002
Von Jason N. Mical - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Princeton-trained religious columnist Mark Pinsky offers a dual book in "The Gospel According to the Simpsons." On one hand, it is a survey of basic twentieth-century (and some earlier) Christian thought, especially Christian thought in the context of a more global society, as the Simpson's Springfield is a microcosm of American and World cultures. On the other, it makes a convincing (although somewhat unnecessary) argument that there is a very valid reason to pay attention to The Simpsons. Better-written, more accessible, and with far more depth than the "other" Simpsons book ("The D'oh of Homer: Simpsons and Philosophy"), "Gospel" is an excellent tool for those interested in either critical analysis of the show, or an excellent introduction to modern theology.
The chapters are arranged in an intelligent manner, outlining basic precepts of different Christian faiths: the idea of a personal God and personal prayer, the role of evangelizing, the existence of Heaven and Hell, the authority of the Bible, and so forth. Pinsky does readers the service of exploring the Jewish tradition and even the "miscellaneous" (Hindu/Buddhist) traditions in separate chapters; although these serve as mere introductions to these religions, it offers a nice balance and places the entire book within a larger context.
Although those who have studied Christian theology might want more depth, those people aren't the book's target audience. For those who want to make the teachings of Buber, Tillich, Lewis, Boenhoffer, and other recent theologians accessible to all (especially the low-attention-span, pop-culture oriented youth), "Gospel" is a great way to go about it. The writing is clear (not surprising since Pinsky is a journalist), and the topics timely. Fans of the show will no doubt enjoy seeing The Simpsons portrayed in such a positive light; satire is, after all, the highest form of humor, and the degrees of intelligence that go into understanding all of the show's intricacies will come as a reward for the diligent reader. For Christians looking for a fresh perspective on their faith, watching a few classic episodes with this book isn't a bad way to go.
Final Grade: B+
18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Simpsons is funny and deep 12. November 2002
Von G. Strunk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I bought this book for two reasons. One was I am a huge Simpsons fan, the other was I was just finishing seminary and thought this book would just be a light read to pass the time. I really thought that at most it would just be good for a few laughs. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing and the deep aspects of faith, prayer, grace and other Christian topics that where addressed.
Being a seminary grad, I always watched the Simpsons with one side of me laughing and the other side trying to figure out what message the show was trying to convey. So some of the things that this book points out concerning faith matters that the Simpsons address I already knew. Still, this book brings with it a unique insight and helps one appreciate all aspects of the show that much more.
Overall, I recommend this book for anyone who is a Simpsons lover or has a Simpsons lover in thier family. I especially recommend this book for parents whose kids love the Simpsons and they do not. This book offers some unique insights into how to turn this TV show into a time where parent and child can address issues of faith.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A reverent look at an irreverant show 15. Dezember 2001
Von Jon Eric Davidson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
One of my favorite TV shows these days is "The Simpsons", which is arguably the funniest thing on the air. People who give the show a cursory glance always seem to think it lowbrow and crude, but as any fan of the show will tell you, it is intelligently funny, and if you peel back the intricate layers, you will ultimately find a moralistic foundation. As such, I was drawn to "The Gospel According To The Simpsons", which proposed an interesting thesis for the show's quality: that of strong religious roots, and that the show portrays religion in a very positive light.
Mr. Pinsky begins his book by relating his way of coming to watch the show. He fell into the category of people who found the show crude, but never sat long enough to dissect it. Finally he came around, and recognized that a case could be made for "The Simpsons" to be the most religiously-based show on television today.
Each chapter tackles a specific topic - primarily the individual characters in the show. Mr. Pinsky develops a very strong character profile, showing how each character can be related to people we run across in real-life - or even who we may be in real-life. In doing so, he tackles the religious complexities of each character, and weaves this into his broader thesis. He shows that despite Homer's numerous flaws, he does have Christian beliefs, suggesting he is like a person who believes in God, but doesn't grasp it firmly - using his belief when it serves him. Ned Flanders is described as a cariacture of the born-again or evangelical Christian.
Throughout the chapters, Mr. Pinsky highlights many episodes in which religion - or a religious moral - was very much at the forefront. Again, he uses these examples to bolster his main thesis. These episode descriptions do become somewhat repetitive, if only because he focuses on three or four and relates the same description over and over again. This becomes a minor drawback in reading this book, because you wind up feeling like you are re-hashing the same material over and over again.
All in all, however, Mr. Pinsky does lay out a very provocative and convincing argument that religion is positively portrayed in "The Simpsons", and that the show is one of the most religiously-based shows on television. It is a fun read for fans, providing a nice new angle on the show. For the skeptics, it may be compelling enough to at least give the show more than a passing glance.
26 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book is better than okily-dokily!! 9. Oktober 2001
Von Tom Hinkle - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
As a lover of God and a lover of "The Simpsons", I couldn't resist picking up this book. It's a very entertaining look at a show that deals with religion more blatantly than any other show this side of "Touched by an Angel". But does the show uphold Christianity and other religions, or does it attempt to subvert them? Probably both, but even by trying to be subversive it inevitably affirms the important part religious beliefs and activities play in the life of America.
The character most evangelical Christians like myself identify with the most is the Simpsons' next-door neighbor Ned Flanders. While the show often pokes fun at the evangelical subculture at Ned's expense, it ultimately presents Ned in a very positive light, as a sincere lover of God who is portrayed as possessing human foibles at times without being a hypocrite. Lisa Simpson is less obviously religious, seeming to be the most "liberal" of the cast, but in her questioning of faith and championing of causes such as animal rights and environmentalism fits in with the thinking of the more liberal, mainline denominations. Homer is more like a typical churchgoer than many would like to admit: basically a believer who is often wishy-washy, gullible, and theologically clueless but is basically honest and moral when all is said and done. Marge is the most religious and upright of the Simpson family. Other faiths are also portrayed in the characters of Krusty (Judaism) and Apu (Hinduism).
Rather than a true evangelical faith of salvation by grace, however, the show displays a religion of works. Of course, works are easier to deal with in a TV show than grace. The author also discusses the place of God, the Bible, Jesus (who is usually alluded to in a more indirect manner than God), and Satan in the Simpsons' universe. God, more than once, has himself interacted directly in the lives of the Springfield inhabitants.
This book give a very thorough, entertaining analysis of the role of religion on what has been, in my opinion, the best show on TV over the last ten-plus years. I highly recommend "The Gospel According to the Simpsons" to anyone interested in religion and culture studies, and to all fans of the show.
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