Item description for The Gospel according to The Simpsons, Bigger and Possibly Even Better! Edition:Â With a New Afterword Exploring South Park, Family Guy, & Other Animated TV Shows (Gospel According To) by Mark I. Pinsky...
Overview In this entertaining and enlightening book, religion reporter Pinsky shows how "The Simpsons" engages issues of religion and morality in a thoughtful, provocative, and genuinely respectful way. (Practical Life)
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."
Citations And Professional Reviews The Gospel according to The Simpsons, Bigger and Possibly Even Better! Edition: With a New Afterword Exploring South Park, Family Guy, & Other Animated TV Shows (Gospel According To) by Mark I. Pinsky has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 07/01/2007 page 71
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.49" Width: 5.72" Height: 0.77" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
Series Gospel According To
ISBN 0664231608 ISBN13 9780664231606
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark I. Pinsky
Mark I. Pinsky is the author of several popular, critically acclaimed books, including The Gospel According to The Simpsons and A Jew Among Evangelicals, and he was religion reporter for the Orlando Sentinel from 1995 to 2008. Columns by Pinsky on faith, disability, and inclusion have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and was the subject of a feature article in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin.
Mark I. Pinsky currently resides in Orlando, in the state of Florida. Mark I. Pinsky was born in 1947.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Gospel according to The Simpsons, Bigger and Possibly Even Better! Edition:Â With a New Afterword Exploring South Park, Family Guy, & Other Animated TV Shows?
The Simpsons and God in the same place...Who-diddly-knew? Dec 12, 2006
Upon first watching The Simpsons, I don't think the average viewer's initial inclination would be to call the show spiritual or religious. Viewers may say the animated TV staple is smart, satirical, and funny, or maybe innocently irreverent; those who aren't fans may call it unwholesome or immature -- but religious? Probably not. However, as author Mark Pinsky posits in the opening pages of THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS, America's favorite cartoon is, in fact, very spiritual. It explores religious issues in more depth, Pinsky believes, than any other television show in the medium.
And I think he's right. Just go back and watch your favorite episode of The Simpsons, and you'll probably notice some reference to God, Jesus, or religion in general sometime within the 22 minutes it takes you to watch the show. Or you could just pick up THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS to find a pretty comprehensive discussion of the role religion plays in Springfield. THE GOSPEL explores the nature of spirituality in The Simpsons, both by analyzing a few of the more religious characters (Ned Flanders, Marge and Lisa Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Krusty the Clown, Reverend Lovejoy) and by studying specific episodes of The Simpsons to determine the role God, Jesus, Satan, Heaven and hell, and the Bible play on the show. According to Pinsky, The Simpsons supports an interpretation of faith in which eternal salvation comes from works rather than grace (a point of view which is backed up by various episodes, namely "Homer vs. Lisa and the Eight Commandment"). While THE GOSPEL offers few groundbreaking insights, it is interesting, and suprisingly legitimate. It definitely made me more aware of some of the more religious aspects of The Simpsons, and since reading it, I find myself watching syndicated re-runs with a new perspective, pointing out religious aspects to my husband while he rolls his eyes at me.
While I did find this book to be interesting reading, I would caution future readers that there's a LOT of episode summary -- so much so, in fact, that it sometimes deters from rather than supports Pinsky's points. Many seasoned Simpsons fans may find themselves impatient with the lengthy rehashing of episodes; therefore, with that in mind, I'd recommend THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS especially for those who aren't very familiar with the show and, because of the show's questionable reputation in its early years, are hesitant to allow their children to watch it. To those people: You may be surprised at how wholesome The Simpsons really is, how supportive it is of family values and religious tolerance.
My only other small quibble with the book was the final chapter, which profiles some of the show's most notable producers and writers. I found the chapter unnecessary and thought it was a poor way to end the book; instead of being left with the religious aspects of The Simpsons, readers are left with the perspectives of those behind the scenes. It weakend the book for me a little bit.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS brought up some valid points and offered a new perspective on America's beloved yellow family. It was an entertaining, well-organized book with a clear point of view. One thing's for sure: The Simpsons will be a staple in our home on Sunday evenings for as long as it airs, as sure as Marge Simpson serves pork chops every Friday night. You all should watch it, too, if you don't already.
Interesting little book May 20, 2006
This is far from a groundbreaking work on religion, to put it mildly, but it does provide an interesting, and, for the most part, a surprisingly valid way of looking at the pop culture phenomenon that is "The Simpsons." And this book has the notable quality, compared with most takes on theology, of being a fairly funny book (not so much because Pinsky is a wildly amusing writer, but because he quotes from some quite hilarious "Simpons" episodes). One unavoidable shortcoming is that this book might feel a little outdated because there have already been a number of "Simpsons" episodes touching on religion that have aired since this book was published (a fact that does support the author's contention that religion is quite central to the show).
Am I the Only One Who Read the Book? May 5, 2006
Okay, why do I not write a manifesto on women's emotions? Because I am not a woman. Sure, I may be married and have a wife, but do I understand the first thing there is to know about a woman's mind? It is impossible. In fact, it is impossible to understand one's self, let alone another. However, it makes more sense to talk about something you know about, instead of something that you do not intimately know.
Mark Pinsky, the writer of this ridiculous tome, is Jewish (and I only bring this up because this book is about the Gospels, something Jewish people reject, rabidly), yet he tries to presuade the reader that he knows the Christianity in The Simpsons. Look, the writing was okay--but he says that Marge is a better person than anyone on the show, and Apu is second best. He writes, "Yet next to Marge, Apu is probably the most good-hearted and saintly character on The Simpsons[.]" (124) Are we watching the same show? Interestingly, most of the writers tend to think, and I completely agree, that Ned is the best character on the show.
The book is slanted, terribly skewed religiously, and does no justice to the premise of the book. Instead of examining the fantastic story lines and methods of faith in the Simpsons (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, etc.), this writer tries to demistify characters and beliefs. Is the book entitled, The Gospel According to the Simpsons, or the Gospel According to Mark Pinksy?
Let me just say this: he admits that he is not a regular viewer, that he probably screwed up at certain times with nuances and interpretations, and, worst of all, the title really has nothing to do with the book. If this is all we have to read for this subject, then I am sad.
GREAT BOOK Mar 9, 2006
for any true child of God who is a simpson fan.it shows there are secular shows to be enjoyed in a Christian way.
Better than expected Dec 3, 2005
I am a Simpsons fan. That is what lead to my interest in this book, although I admit I was intrigued whether this was going to be another religious shot across the bow of the Simpsons' ship. I've not read "The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer," nor any of Matt Groening's books. Everything's been visual via Fox Broadcasting, with the occasional newspaper or magazine article using the Simpsons family as an example of everything that is wrong with America (many of which are referred to in this book).
The Gospel According to The Simpsons was a pleasant surprise. Mark Pinsky really was careful in puting together a thoughtful and readable analysis of the religious overtones (and underbelly) of the show. The fact that Pinsky was a fan both gave him credibility and a keen eye for the subtle subplots. However, Pinsky sees the Simpsons show as affirming religion. I see it for the humor.
I learned more about the Simpsons family, the creative process, evangelical Christianity, and Catholic and Jewish concerns in relation to the show after reading this book. More importantly for me, however, as a fan, I have noticed that I have a better "understanding" of the show's characters, their philosophies (or lack thereof), and their fictional lives.
I'm glad Homer isn't my neighbor, but it is great that he is in my town.
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