Robert L. Short, the man who popularized the idea of finding religious meaning in popular culture, died earlier this week at the age of 76. Short, an ordained Presbyterian minister, wrote the international best-seller The Gospel According To Peanuts in 1965, receiving the blessing of cartoonist Charles Schulz (himself an amateur theologian) to use his comic strips to illustrate Short's interpretation of Christian scripture. Short later produced two sequels--The Parables Of Peanuts and Short Meditations On The Bible And Peanuts--and continued to explore the intersection of faith and modern life in books like The Gospel From Outer Space, The Parables Of Dr. Seuss, and the dramatically titled Something To Believe In: Is Kurt Vonnegut The Exorcist Of Jesus Christ Superstar?. The latter made Short's case against organized religion, an institution he became disenchanted with the more he discovered alternative ways to spread The Word. For some fascinating discussion of Short's legacy and working habits--including his attempts to bring a camera on a tripod into movie theaters to shoot some illustrations for his book on sci-fi--check out this obituary.
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