Escape into the Future analyzes the power of pessimism, showing links between present-day religious pessimism and the nihilism of popular culture. Stroup and Shuck rummage through an interesting and eclectic body of pop culture--from Fight Club to X-Files to the Left Behind series--pointing out the presence of pessimistic themes throughout. This volume identifies and illuminates the religious language used in these works to articulate America's need to escape from its present cultural path and, ultimately, provide hope that it might do so.
John M. Stroup is Harry and Hazel Chavanne Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University.
1. Secret Agents: Visions of Escape, Glimpses of Hope 2. Do We Still Want to Believe?: The X-Files and the American Struggle with Progressive Action 3. Perhaps Today: The Dialectic of Despair and Activism in Popular Evangelical Literature 4. God's Unwanted: Fight Club and the Myth of "Total Revolution" 5. Relocating the American Dream: The Challenges and Ambiguities of Contemporary Cultural Pessimism 6. The Quest for a Real-World Correlate Sightings of Cultural Pessimism in the Domains of Scholarship and Journalism 7. The Question of Real-World Correlates to Fantasy Processes of Decline: The Deep Structure of Decay, or, Descent into the Engine Room of the RMS Titanic Epilogue-Into the Great Wide Open