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Religion Is What You Make It – A Closer Look at David Chidester “Authentic Fakes”

Religion isn’t always what you think, and in the Authentic Fakes book, written by David Chidester, you can learn just what this means. The book studies religion in Americana culture in all of the places least expected, including rock n’ roll, Jim Jones, Ronald Reagan, Coca- Cola and many others. Inside of the book Chidester travels through the cultural landscape found between various people, places and things and there discoveries may shock you. The book is an up close and personal analysis of religion and popular culture, and how many fake things surround it.

The Book Contents

Inside of the book are the following contents:

  • Book Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Planet Hollywood
  • Chapter Two: Popular Religion
  • Chapter Three: Plastic Religion
  • Chapter Four: Embodied Religion
  • Chapter Five: Sacrificial Religion
  • Chapter Six: Monetary Religion
  • Chapter Seven: Global Religion
  • Chapter Eight: Transatlantic Religion
  • Chapter Nine: Shamic Religion
  • Chapter 10: Virtual Religion
  • Chapter 11: Planet Religion

There is also a notes section as well as an index. Each chapter of the book outlines new possibilities. The chapters are informative, well-written and interesting. They are also diverse and offer a look at religion among the who’s who of people, something so often not talked about.

An Inside Look

The book explores many controversial topics. What is the religion of fast food giant McDonalds? How about the happiest place on Earth –Disney? Nelson Mandela made his way to American for a tour in 1990. The religious aspect of this is weighed in the book. Many other situations are also inside. This book argues that religion, in many different cultures and circumstances authentic religion can slip beyond the realms and religious fakes can come through the door.


Chidester takes on a very controversial subject in this book and then adds even more controversy to the topic by considering fakeness in religion. It is a well-written book that opens eyes to new and exciting possibilities. A total of 11 chapters are offered in the book. Those who have read it have had nothing but positive things to say about the book. This includes popular academic and public facilities and readers. It is a book that is controversial, one that is entertaining and certainly a book that will provide you with a vast possibility of learning opportunities.