Religion: A Pop Culture History

Ep 1173/26/2005

Until a few years ago, religion and pop culture kept a safe distance from each other. Hollywood was reluctant to back movies and TV shows that treated religion seriously. Christian musicians were reluctant to make records that might compete in a godless pop marketplace. But in the changed landscape of the post-millennial, post-9/11 world, Hollywood seems to have found God, and men of the cloth seem to have found, in Hollywood, a chance to reach out to the masses in a way they never have before.In the half-hour documentary Religion: A Pop Culture History, VH1 charts the recent explosion of religion and pop, from the blockbuster movie The Passion of the Christ to Kanye West's hip-hop smash "Jesus Walks" to the aggressive marketing of Christian hard-rock bands to Hollywood's sudden interest in Kabbalah. We'll dip into history to look at Davey and Goliath, an early attempt to promote Christianity through a TV show, and take viewers behind the scenes of such present-day phenomena as the marketing of "Jesus Is My Homeboy" t-shirts, the staging of a Christian version of Woodstock, and former child star Kirk Cameron's re-emergence as an evangelical Internet and TV host.Religion: A Pop Culture History is the next installment of a VH1 News series that began with the award-winning AIDS: A Pop Culture History (2003) and has also included Politics: A Pop Culture History (2004). In addition to movie and TV clips and vintage footage, the documentary features interviews with such key figures as Kanye West, Run-DMC's Reverend Run, born-again actor Stephen Baldwin, actor-turned-televangelist Kirk Cameron, Christian rockers Audio Adrenaline and Rev. Al Sharpton.