The Gospel According to Tony Soprano: Discovering the Spiritual Insights of Television’s Most Notorious Family

J.P. Tarcher

Chris Seay

Central Theme
The Sopranos has hit a responsive chord with viewers because it is a mirror in which we see the human plight and ourselves more clearly.

Chris Seay is addicted to the Sopranos and he is not alone. The series single-handedly brought HBO critical dramatic respectability and profitability. Seay argues that the Sopranos is watch-able because of its compelling characters, engaging storyline and because it shines light into dark areas all humans share in common. Seay works his way through a defense of cultural immersion as the path to cultural engagement. While exploring the characters and storyline of The Sopranos he responds by revealing their resonance with biblical themes. Here is a book that attempts to take seriously an immensely popular TV show and cultural phenomenon within the context of a Christian worldview. Seay is one of many blazing a trail towards the missiological imperative of understanding culture for the gospel’s sake. The question in this approach always remains the same, as a result of their exposure to his work, will his readers become obsessed with ‘The Sopranos’ or biblical truth or both?

Beliefs num
–Art reflects reality.
–It is not true that you are what you eat. Watching this show does not make you violent or adulterous.
–The Sopranos is a prescription for the soul with the power to condemn or restore.
–Tony is a likeable guy, a neo Solomon who is overwhelmed with meaninglessness.
–Carmela is a religious woman but a hypocrite.
–The Sopranos reveal a consumerism and racism that is reflective of American culture.
–AJ is on a spiritual journey; uncomfortable with the way his mother and father deal with religion in their lives.
–Tony’s greatest fear is isolation and so long as he has family, he is not alone.
–The psychologist takes confession like a priest and has replaced religion for many.
–Honor, loyalty and family mean the most and they are crumbling.
–People, who feel their lives are futile, seek diversions.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Why has the Sopranos struck a chord with viewers?
–Can regular exposure to the violence, language and abuse of sex while watching the Sopranos affect your behavior in real life?
–Is watching movies or shows like the Soprano’s really essential to understanding the human condition? Is it useful in communicating our beliefs to our friends?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Despite my desire to find a higher moral ground, I continued to race home every Sunday night after church to be with the Soprano family. In time, I decide to not only watch the show, but to speak openly about my affection-turned-obsession with the HBO series.
–I want to push these hideous characters away-but I can’t we are too much alike.
–¢â‚¬ËœThe Sopranos’ serves as a prescription for the soul. It has the power to condemn or restore. It is much more than a mere mob tale or your typical mini-series about a suburban family. It is about life and death. To misread ¢â‚¬ËœThe Sopranos’ as a glorification of violence or a cheap comedy about middle-class America is to not read it at all. Like all art, it must be interpreted.
–Without a strong sense of right and wrong this story could destroy you.
–The church thing never quite took with me.
==David Chase, raised Baptist, creator of the Sopranos.
–She’s the first one going to hell.
==David Chase on the hypocrisy of Tony’s wife.
–The Sopranos is a repulsive peep show that celebrates the behavior of self-destructive people who live devoid of conscience and bereft of morality or human decency.
==Steve Isaacs, Focus on The Family magazine.

Posted in Books, Staublog in September 5, 2002 by | No Comments »

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