a MARS HILL AUDIO Anthology
In a 2007 article in the Columbia Journalism Review, newspaper editor Steve Wasserman lamented "the sea change in the culture of literacy." He was concerned about "the degree to which our overwhelmingly fast and visually furious culture renders serious reading increasingly irrelevant, hollowing out the habits of attention indispensable for absorbing long-form narrative and the following of sustained argument."
Wasserman's fears were well-founded. In the title to a 2008 essay in The Atlantic, Nicholas Carr asked "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" He and many of his friends and colleagues seemed to think so. "Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. 'I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,' he wrote. 'What happened?' He speculates on the answer: 'What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I'm just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?'"
Two massive studies by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have documented a dramatic decline in the time spent reading and in the level of reading comprehension among well-educated Americans. And this decline has consequences beyond libraries and classrooms. Some clergy have suggested that in such a post-literate culture, preaching—which requires sustained attention to a text—is no longer comprehensible.
This MARS HILL AUDIO Anthology examines the extent and the consequences of the epidemic of aliteracy: for individuals, for social health, and for the life of the Church. Arguing that this is a cultural trend that should be deliberately and unapologetically resisted by Christians, host Ken Myers and his guests explore the many blessings afforded by reading, especially the habits of cultural and personal engagement that reading sustains.
Many of the guests on this Anthology were also heard on Volume 90 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, including former NEA chairman Dana Gioia, painters Makoto Fujimura and Catherine Prescott, and pastor-theologians Eugene Peterson and Gregory Reynolds. Also heard are columnist Maggie Jackson (Distracted) and (from an archived 1995 interview) literary critic Sven Birkerts (The Gutenberg Elegies).
This Anthology will be of special interest to parents, teachers, and clergy.
** Note: MP3 downloads may be burned to a conventional CD, and come with burning instructions as well as templates for printing labels and jewel case tray labels.
This is one of a series of Anthologies produced by MARS HILL AUDIO. To see a list of other available recordings, see our online catalog. If you like, you may download an free demonstration issue (ZIP, 33.5MB, containing MP3 files) of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, our bimonthly audio magazine.