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PR Campaign, Part IV

Hipster Christians apparently fall into four categories:
Artistic Searchers
Frugal Collegians
Monied Yuppies
Bookish Intellectuals

Please consult this reference for further information. Hovering the mouse over the bookshelf gets you “Every Christian hipster owns or has read a book by the following authors: Wendell Berry, WALKER PERCY…”

I ask you two questions.

1. Are we going to stand for that? and

2. What’s on the shelf of a Hipster Catholic?


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    Very fine job.

    I was never hip at any point in my life, so you're asking one of the wrong guys. But, what difference is there between any of these modes and unbelief? It's the modeness of it. This all rings a bell. Thanks S.E.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    What is there to say in reply? They did their homework. Even got the reference to Manhattans in the Monied Yuppies section.

    Hipster Catholics read C-Dub AND AVH. Just as long as they're both writing about sex.

  3. Dorian Speed says

    Good point. They need another category for people who make all their own hipster clothes (these people have to be skinny to pull this off, I think) and can organic vegetables from their rooftop gardens. Remember when all that stuff was "sacramental?"

    I can say these things because I aspire to be in this category.

  4. Rufus McCain says

    Southex: flashback.

  5. Matthew Lickona says

    Well, I dunno about rooftop, but we've got chickens and tomatoes and citrus…so yeah, hipster guilty as charged.

  6. Matthew Lickona says

    I've figured out my problem with this: it's too Protestant, what with its neat divisions. Catholics, hipster or no, are universal – for instance, I'm a monied searcher with pretensions at being artistic and bookish leanings. Plus, you know, chickens.

  7. Jonathan Webb says

    It's that dang Luther's fault.

    I blame him for Marx as well.

  8. Self-Loathing Bourg says

    Ach, the Monied Yuppie tag hits a bit too close to home. No wonder I'm self-loathing. Oh well, I'll drown my sorrows tonight in Blue Chimay.

  9. Rufus McCain says

    In Kierkegaardian terms, what we're talking about here is aesthetic damnation — approaching the things of faith in the aesthetic mode of the connoisseur. Where it gets muddled is that true faith encompasses the aesthetic, so the knight of faith might at times take a childlike delight in the aesthetic wonders of chickens and Manhattans and rosaries and port wine while still having made the movement of infinite resignation and faith in the inmost reaches of her heart.

  10. Southern Expat says

    Are you telling me I posted yesterday's news today? That's not even my beat. I'm going to get kicked down to the mailroom, I just know it.

  11. Dorian Speed says

    I haven't done my homework, Kierkegaard-wise. Perhaps I will find his book (currently being hidden by The Baby) and take it with me on vacation.

    Having said that – very interesting comment, RufMac.

    I am interested in reading the Hipster Christianity book, even though I'm not familiar with a lot of the writers and talkers referenced by the author. I hope he'll explore the tension between being "in the world but not of the world" and defining oneself via the accumulation of consumer goods. Even if you're rejecting the Hummer in favor of a hand-me-down Schwinn, that rusty bike can still define you as apart from the hoi polloi.

    I agree with you, Matthew, that Catholics are universal, but I don't think that makes us immune to wanting to go to the parish that best fits our lifestyle, for example. Or from feeling like it's okay to drive a van full of kids, but it needs to be an ironic van.

  12. Great find!

    This looks like "Stuff White People Like" for self-aware post (or soon-to-be) post-evangelicals.

    True to form it's about two years behind its secular version, and if it follows the pattern of other 'Christian' art in the marketplace, it will lack most of the bite that makes the secular counterpart work.

    We do get a a bit of a protestant hipster nod to Catholicism in their quiz…What stops you from being Catholic?

  13. Wait, I take that back. Reading the free chapter–this is way more introspective than the marketing website makes it out to be. Not a guide to the breed, but a question of why Christians care about cool in the first place–and what that means.

  14. Just one question: who still reads Teilhard?

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