April 24, 2014

Culture

Martin Saunders' monthly column analyses major cultural events and releases from a Christian perspective, exploring how our faith intersects with film, television, music and more. 

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Death in Hollywood

Issue publishedApril 2014 Author Martin Saunders

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February, is the latest in a long line of troubled celebrities to lose a battle with drug abuse. So why do so many famous people – who seem to have everything – get caught up in the deadly spiral of addiction?

Playing with Fire

Issue publishedMarch 2014 Author Martin Saunders

Swipe right if you would, left if you wouldn’t. Thanks to smartphone app Tinder, 21st century speed dating has picked up the pace…

The Gender Agenda

Issue publishedFebruary 2014 Author Martin Saunders

In these enlightened times, we might imagine our children are finally growing up in an age of gender balance and equality. Yet, as Martin Saunders discovers, various cultural factors suggest the picture isn’t quite so rosy.

A Divisive Brand

Issue publishedJanuary 2014 Author Martin Saunders

He’s one of the most famous and controversial figures of the new millennium, whose loose tongue wins him critics and fans alike. Has Russell Brand really reinvented himself as a deep-thinking revolutionary, or is it all just a cry for attention?

Malcolm’s X Factor

Issue publishedDecember 2013 Author Martin Saunders

He’s the world’s leading popular science writer and he’s just written a book based on a well-known Bible story. Martin Saunders enters the enigmatic world of Malcolm Gladwell, and discovers a man returning unexpectedly not just to the Bible, but also to his Christian roots.

A Throne but no Messiah

Issue publishedAugust 2013 Author Martin Saunders

Can a show which is full of gratuitous sex and violence and has no ‘good’ character, have anything to say to the Christian subculture?

Fit for purpose

Issue publishedJuly 2013 Author Martin Saunders

With national obesity rates rising and the fitness industry booming, Martin Saunders asks: is there a more sensible middle way?

A Life Less Misérable

Issue publishedJune 2013 Author Martin Saunders

Martin Saunders looks at how blockbuster musical Les Misérables – now out on DVD – can be powerfully harnessed to start conversations about God.

Star Crossed

Issue publishedMay 2013 Author Martin Saunders

American writer John Green might be the most important author you’ve never heard of. Martin Saunders explores a world of unlikely smash hits to find out why.

Is the future broken?

Issue publishedApril 2013 Author Martin Saunders

TV’s sharpest writer thinks we’ll get the future we deserve. Martin Saunders asks: Should Christians listen to him?

Should we ignore the Mormons?

Issue publishedMarch 2013 Author Martin Saunders

A new musical is heading for the London stage, and it’s got controversy written all over it. Martin Saunders asks if we should ignore, embrace or campaign against a play that has some shocking things to say about religion.

Twilight out of the shadows

Issue publishedJanuary 2013 Author Dave Roberts

As the final film in the Twilight franchise hits the screens, Dave Roberts asks why it has been so successful.

Restless Wanderers

Issue publishedNovember 2012 Author Martin Saunders

They made folk music cool again. Their lead singer has well-known Christian parents. And they sing about God. Surely Mumford and Sons are a Christianity culture columnist’s dream? Martin Saunders is not so sure.

The Dark Knight and The Soul

Issue publishedSeptember 2012 Author Martin Saunders

It’s the year’s biggest film, and tells the story of a returning messiah. Martin Saunders asks: why do so many major films seem to stumble into the central story of the Christian faith?

The Dark Knight Rises

Issue publishedAugust 2012 Author Martin Saunders

Martin Saunders presents a spoiler‐free introduction to the new Batman film... and he’s very excited.

Grey Areas

Issue publishedAugust 2012 Author Martin Saunders

The publishing sensation Fifty Shades of Grey has normalised the consumption of pornographic literature. Martin Saunders analyses the effect this could have on the way society views sex.

Inconvenient truths - when justice and culture collide

Issue publishedJuly 2012 Author Martin Saunders

As Euro 2012 kicks off across two nations exposed for racism, and after this year’s Eurovision Song Contest took place in a country with a poor human rights record, Martin Saunders asks: Why does being entertained mean we turn a blind eye to injustice?

Have talent shows grown up?

Issue publishedJune 2012 Author Martin Saunders

Is it possible to breathe new life into a tired old talent show format? Martin Saunders thinks The Voice has pulled it off.

The Hunger Games: A Mirror to the World

Issue publishedMay 2012 Author Martin Saunders

The Hunger Games has appeared almost from nowhere to become one of the biggest films in recent history. Martin Saunders asks, what does this horrific vision of a fictional future have to say to us about the hidden horrors of our present reality?

Alain de Botton

Issue publishedApril 2012 Author Martin Saunders

Philosopher Alain de Botton’s new book tries to steal the best bits of religion and leave God behind...

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