The Universe is Indifferent (Hardcover)
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Centered upon the lives of employees at a Manhattan advertising firm, the AMC television series Mad Men touches on the advertising world's unique interests in consumerist culture, materialistic desire, and the role of deception in Western capitalism. While the subject matters of the chapters in this collection have a decidedly socio-historical focus, the authors use basic topics as starting points for philosophical, religious, and theological reflections. The authors show how Mad Men reveals deep truths concerning the social trends of the 1960s and early 1970s in American life and deserves a significant amount of reflection from philosophical, religious, and theological perspectives. Some of the chapters go beyond mere reflection and make deeper inquiries into what these trends say about American cultural habits, the business world within Western capitalism, and the rapid social changes (gender, race, and sexuality) that occur during this period. Chapters examine paradigms of masculinity and femininity as well as the presentation of motherhood, fatherhood, sexuality, and childhood. This collection shows how social change represents the undercurrent of the interpersonal dramas of the characters on Mad Men, from the staid and conventional early seasons to the war, assassinations, riots, and counterculture of later seasons. ""This exciting volume joins the growing scholarly chorus calling us to take popular culture seriously--artistically and politically, to be sure, but more daringly as vernacular philosophy and theology. In the acclaimed television series Mad Men this volumes strikes gold, which its authors mine with skill, humor, and great insight. It's a book that belongs on the shelf of every student of religion and popular culture."" --Matthew S. Hedstrom, Associate Professor, Religious Studies and American Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia ""Duncan and Goodson have assembled a brilliant collection of essays that combine keen theological and philosophical insight into Mad Men. This book is a rare combination of outstanding scholarship and delightful reading. Of course, it's about Mad Men, but it's also about God, love, relationships, work, ethics, and life in the modern world. It is, in short, about everything that matters."" --David O'Hara, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Classics, Chair of the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics, Augustana University Ann W. Duncan (PhD, University of Virginia) is Associate Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the coeditor of Church-State Issues in America Today (2007). Jacob L. Goodson (PhD, University of Virginia) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He is the author of Narrative Theology and the Hermeneutical Virtues: Humility, Patience, Prudence (2015).