See the full review here.
Albert Y. Hsu's The Suburban Christian finds in suburban living a deep spiritual longing. People come to the suburbs, Hsu says, because they are looking for something, a job or affordable housing or good public schools (or, less charitably, mostly white public schools). Like Goetz, Hsu insists that you don't need to live on a farm or in the inner city to live an authentically Christian life. Nevertheless, "the suburban Christian ought not uncritically absorb all the characteristics of the suburban world."
One excellent chapter teases out what follows from suburban reliance on cars. (Did you know that the average commuter spends three weeks a year commuting?) As a consequence of our driving dependence, says Hsu, the elderly who can't drive are marginalized. Policy makers don't prioritize public transportation. Indeed, we often don't build sidewalks; as Bill Bryson has observed, "In many places in America now, it is not actually possible to be a pedestrian, even if you want to be."
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Books & Culture review
The Suburban Christian was reviewed in the May/June 2006 issue of Books & Culture, alongside Death by Suburb by David Goetz. The review, "God of the Latte," is now available online at their website. Here's an excerpt: