From Angels to Aliens by Lynn Schofield Clark
Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Left Behind series are but the latest manifestations of American teenagers' longstanding fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal. In this groundbreaking book, Lynn Schofield Clark explores the implications of this fascination for contemporary religious and spiritual practices. Relying on stories gleaned from more than 250 in-depth interviews with teens and their families, Clark seeks to discover what today's teens really believe and why. She finds that as adherence to formal religious bodies declines, interest in alternative spiritualities as well as belief in "superstition" grow accordingly. Ironically, she argues, fundamentalist Christian alarmism about the forces of evil has also fed belief in a wider array of supernatural entities.

Resisting the claim that the media "brainwash" teens, Clark argues that today's popular stories of demons, hell, and the afterlife actually have their roots in the U.S.'s religious heritage. She considers why some young people are nervous about supernatural stories in the media, while others comfortably and often unselfconsciously blur the boundaries between those stories of the realm beyond that belong to traditional religion and those offered by the entertainment media. At a time of increased religious pluralism and declining participation in formal religious institutions, Clark says, we must completely reexamine what young people mean--and what they may believe--when they identify themselves as "spiritual" or "religious."

Offering provocative insights into how the entertainment media shape contemporary religious ideas and practices, From Angels to Aliens paints a surprising--and perhaps alarming--portrait of the spiritual state of America's youth.

About Lynn Schofield Clark

See more books from this Author
Lynn Schofield Clark is Associate Professor in Media, Film, and Journalism Studies, and Director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver. Her books include Religion, Media, and the Marketplace; From Angels to Aliens, and Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media.
Published March 27, 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA. 304 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for From Angels to Aliens

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

What Wade Clark Roof did for understanding Baby Boomer spirituality with A Generation of Seekers, Clark does with this insightful, well-written ethnographic introduction to the spiritual lives of a new generation.

| Read Full Review of From Angels to Aliens: Teenag...

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

Is Satan, because of my media consumption, now a level-twenty boss with a ridiculously high armor class, or does he remain, as evangelicals claim, “the great destroyer?” Do I uphold the boundaries between media and religion?

Dec 28 2012 | Read Full Review of From Angels to Aliens: Teenag...

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

According to Dr. Clark (associate professor in Media, Film, and Journalism Studies at the University of Denver), this openness to spirituality has spilled into the media and created a two-way educational street: Our ideas of spirituality are shaped by what we both watch and read, and what we both...

Dec 28 2012 | Read Full Review of From Angels to Aliens: Teenag...

Seattle PI

In From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural, Dr. Lynn Schofield Clark explores the "dark side" of western-protestant evangelicalism, particularly how it pertains to both media and culture studies.

Dec 28 2012 | Read Full Review of From Angels to Aliens: Teenag...

Rate this book!

Add Review