The first published book review of Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Churchhas just been published.
From CHOICE Reviews April 2009:
Marti (Davidson College) follows up his 2005 book on multiethnic congregations in Los Angeles (A Mosaic of Believers, CH, Jan'06, 43-2867) with this study of the contrast between Christianity and the often-perceived amorality of the media industry in Hollywood. Oasis Christian Center provides the setting for this study in contrasts.
Symbolically housed in an old movie theater with an ersatz Hollywood star on the sidewalk in front of the building dedicated to "Jesus Christ, the Son of God," Oasis unexpectedly combines two streams of members--a diverse collection of people seeking solace from the stress and frustrations of careers in the increasingly fragmented and transitory world of the film industry, and a substantial African American group of worshipers.
Marti uses Oasis as a starting point to review Hollywood's social archaeology, tracing its early history as a quiet, decidedly religious haven to its transformation into Tinseltown and beyond. He finds an explanation for the combination of movie people and African Americans at Oasis in their shared lives of ongoing marginality, stress, and uncertainty in US society.
Addressing the perspectives of students of religion, media and the film industry, and ethnic differences, the book speaks to all three subjects, combining them in a novel, interesting fashion.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.
-- E. Carlson, Florida State University