GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS (and Leader's Guide) by Mark Pinsky
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The Simpsons is one of the longest running, funniest, most irreverent, and, according to some religious leaders, the most theologically relevant show on television today. Journalist Mark Pinsky explores the religious and spiritual aspects of Bart, Homer, and the rest of cartoons’ first family––a show strongly denounced by many conservative Christians back in 1989, but now viewed favorably by fans from all across the theological spectrum.
Pinsky looks at the show’s treatment of God, Jesus, heaven and hell, the Bible, prayer, the evangelistic next-door neighbor Ned Flanders, and the town’s church and pastor, Rev. Lovejoy. He also discusses whether the character of Lisa is the voice of Jesus, and explores the many moral dilemmas that the characters, in particular Bart and Homer, face. The treatment of Catholics, Jews, and Hindus is also explained in depth. Pinsky concludes with a discussion that suggests that, on the whole, The Simpsons is supportive and not subversive of faith. This is must reading for any Simpsons fan, and is an insightful exploration of how religion and faith influences popular culture.
Mark I. Pinsky is a religion reporter for the Orlando Sentinel in Orlando, Florida. He is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times (1984-1995), and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
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