Selfies are ubiquitous. They can be silly or serious, casual or
curated. Within moments, smart phone users can capture their image
and post it across multiple social media platforms to a global
audience. But do we truly understand the power of image in our
image-saturated age? How can we seek God and care for each other in
Craig Detweiler, a nationally known writer and speaker and an avid social media user, examines the selfie phenomenon, placing selfies within the long history of self-portraits in art, literature, and photography. He shows how self-portraits change our perspective of ourselves and each other in family dynamics, education, and discipleship. Challenging us to push past unhealthy obsessions with beauty, wealth, and fame, Detweiler helps us to develop a thoughtful, biblical perspective on selfies and social media and to put ourselves in proper relation to God and each other. He also explains the implications of social media for an emerging generation, making this book a useful conversation starter in homes, churches, and classrooms. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and a photo assignment for creating a selfie in response to the chapter.
Selfies Are a Search for God via God's Image:
"Selfies helps us journey beyond our narcissistic culture, giving us language to move away from an ego-filled self-expression to our true identities hidden in Christ. Reflecting Detweiler's impressive grasp of art history and deep wisdom attained in media ecology, Selfies is both an invaluable guide for understanding our techno world with all its trappings and a book full of delightful observations."
--Makoto Fujimura, Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, Fuller Theological Seminary
"I don't know anyone who can connect the dots between centuries of church history and twenty-first-century selfies like Detweiler. This book has changed the way I think about the images I see and share as well as the image of God in all of us."
--Kara Powell, Fuller Youth Institute; coauthor of Growing Young
"Detweiler takes us on a fabulous journey through history in search of the first selfie. Stories of Narcissus, Rembrandt, Bayard, and Kim Kardashian provide a fascinating backdrop for understanding why it feels so good to get the perfect shot of me."
--Peggy Kendall, Bethel University; author of Reboot: Refreshing Your Faith in a High-Tech World
"A Rosetta stone for people of faith bewildered by the seeming narcissism of the ubiquitous selfie. Detweiler taps the collective wisdom found in Greek mythology, art history, psychoanalysis, and media criticism to help translate biblical principles to this troubling use of technology. Selfies encourages readers to view the images of others and ourselves with compassion and curiosity and to see past the image to the collective longing to be known."
--Lisa Swain, Biola University
"This brilliant book does not simply bash media but critically explores it while presenting the good, the bad, and the very ugly. A must-read for anyone who spends even a minute on the internet or near any media outlet."
--Daniel White Hodge, North Park University; author of Homeland Insecurity: A Hip-Hop Missiology for the Post-Civil Rights Context
1. Introduction: How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Selfie?
2. Reflected Beauty: The Ancient Self
3. Mastering the Mirror: A Renaissance of the Self
4. Reframing Memories: The Literary Self
5. Seizing the Light: Photographing Ourselves
6. Behind the Mask: The Psychological Self
7. Instapressure: The Selfie Today
8. Augmented and Transfigured: The Selfie Tomorrow
Craig Detweiler (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is an author, award-winning filmmaker, and cultural commentator who has been featured in the New York Times and on CNN, NPR, Fox News, and ABC's Nightline. He formerly served as president of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. Detweiler is the author of several books, including iGods and Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century. He is also the coauthor of A Matrix of Meanings and editor of Halos and Avatars.