The Vanishing Word

The Veneration of Visual Imagery in the Postmodern World

By Arthur W. Hunt, III

The Vanishing Word

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781625642653
  • Pages: 272
  • Publication Date: 9/1/2013
  • Retail Price: $32.00
Web Price: $25.60
Web Price: $25.60

The Vanishing Word

The Veneration of Visual Imagery in the Postmodern World

By Arthur W. Hunt, III

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781625642653
  • Pages: 272
  • Publication Date: 9/1/2013
  • Retail Price: $32.00
Web Price: $25.60

About-

Is image everything? For many people in our culture, image and images are everything. Americans spend hours watching television but rarely finish a good book. Words are quickly losing their appeal.

Arthur Hunt sees this trend as a direct assault on Christianity. He warns that by exalting imagery we risk becoming mindless pagans. Our thirst for images has dulled our minds so that we lack the biblical and mental defenses we need to resist pagan influences.

What about paganism? Hunt contends that it never died in modern Western culture; image-based media just brought it to the surface again. Sex, violence, and celebrity worship abound in our culture, driving a mass media frenzy reminiscent of pagan idolatry.

This book is a clear warning that the church is being cut off from its word-based heritage, and that we are open to abuse by those who exploit the image but neglect the Word. Thoughtful readers will find this a challenging call to be critical about the images bombarding our sense and to affirm that "the Word is everything."

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Because the cultural back alleys my writing sometimes takes me into, I have to read a lot of books on Christian engagement with culture. That said, The Vanishing Word is one of the best on this subject I have ever read--it is memorable, prescient, pithy, courageous, wise, and . . . in the hope this word is still legal, right."
--Douglas Wilson, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

"Reminiscent of Jacques Ellul's Humiliation of the Word, Hunt provides an excellent exploration of the dangers of image media displacing word media. He offers extensive contemporary application, in terms of postmodern sensibilities, to Ellul's assertion in Propaganda that 'people manipulated by propaganda become increasingly impervious to spiritual realities.' He puts a sharp point on this in his penultimate chapter, 'Formula for a Fuhrer,' revealing his media ecology credentials, by demonstrating that communication media are never neutral."
--Gregory Edward Reynolds, pastor of Amoskeag Presbyterian Church in Manchester, NH, author of The Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures: Preaching in the Electronic Age, and editor of Ordained Servant: A Journal for Church Officers.

This sane, sobering, and penetrating book explains how technologies of communication shape the minds and lives of us all. Professor Hunt is a student of rhetoric and the history of ideas who brings a critical eye to what most people take for granted today: the dominance of images in our postmodern world. His scholarly expertise combined with his theological acumen makes for an arresting read.
--Doug Groothuis, Denver Seminary

The Vanishing Word chronicles the triumph of images in postmodern American culture. In this fine book, Arthur W. Hunt III invites us to engage historical dynamics driving our hyper-mediated, digital world and invites us to become mindful of present forms of image-driven paganism that distract us from fruitful Christian living and supplant Bible-centered worship, learning, and practices in Christian communities. Hunt's command of communication dynamics in mediated cultures propels a call to deliberate engagement and resistance for all people of the Word.
--Calvin L. Troup, Associate Professor, McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Duqesne University

Contributors-

Arthur W. Hunt, III

Bio(s)-

Arthur W. Hunt III is associate professor of communications at The University of Tennessee at Martin. His writings have been featured in Touchstone, Modern Age, The Christian Research Journal, and Explorations in Media Ecology: The Journal of the Media Ecology Association. He is the author of Surviving Technopolis: Essays on Finding Balance in Our New Manmade Environments (Pickwick Publishers) and serves on the editorial board of Second Nature, an online journal for critical thinking about technology and new media in light of the Christian tradition.

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