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Random Decor From Trip Abroad

Like this quaint Malaysian souvenir (the characters supposedly mean "virtue"), items of vaguely exotic, eastern, Third World nature acquired abroad make an excellent addition to any Christian hipster's bookshelf or wall. You see, Christian hipsters TRAVEL. Missions trips to Thailand. Semesters in Uganda. Backpacking across Australia. All along the way, they love accumulating things like batiks, woven bags, a Middle Eastern keffiyeh, beaded necklaces, little Buddha statues, or anything evocative of ancient indigenous pagan ritual.

Monk Bookends

These delightful bookends hold a multifaceted appeal for Christian hipsters: 1) They are handmade. 2) They are monks. 3) They were likely purchased at a thrift store or inherited from Grandma's attic. 4) They might have been made by an artisan at Silver Dollar City in Branson.

 

Monk Bookends

These delightful bookends hold a multifaceted appeal for Christian hipsters: 1) They are handmade. 2) They are monks. 3) They were likely purchased at a thrift store or inherited from Grandma's attic. 4) They might have been made by an artisan at Silver Dollar City in Branson.

 

Books by Christian Hipster Icons

Every Christian hipster owns or has read a book by the following authors: Wendell Berry, Walker Percy, Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Walter Brueggemann, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, or Eugene Peterson.

 


Books of Theory, Philosophy, and Literature

The more academically inclined Christian hipster takes great pride in their diverse collection of theoretical/philosophical/literary texts. For the Christian hipster bookshelf, staples include C.S. Lewis, Aquinas, Descartes, and probably a copy of Terry Eagleton's After Theory. But don't be surprised if you find a little Heidegger, Buber, Baudrillard and Ricoeur as well. Or any of the other books pictured here.

 


Christian Academic/Theology Books

Christian hipsters love books that seriously deal with theology, Christian history, and/or pacifism (John Howard Yoder is good for that). They also like Catholic intellectuals (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin), British Catholic intellectuals (G.K. Chesterton), and American Protestant evangelicals who teach at Catholic universities (Mark Noll). And of course Thomas a Kempis.

 

Paul Tillich's "The Courage to Be"

A classic text of the mid-century Christian existentialist movement, and an essential on every Christian hipster intellectual's bookshelf.

 

 

Prayer Candles

Best found at the local dollar store and/or Catholic bookstore, prayer candles like these make frequent appearances in the living spaces of Christian hipsters, though they are often ignorant of their ostensible "intercessory prayer for $1 donation" tradition in the Catholic church. No matter. They have kitschy Jesus imagery and that highly desirable, "vaguely subverting Protestant norms in a God-honoring way" cache that Christian hipsters appreciate.

 

Mac Laptop

It goes without saying, but the laptop is a crucial accessory for every Christian hipster. They LIVE on their computers. When not mashing up Radiohead and Sandi Patty or writing a paper about the phenomenology of peanut butter, they are probably on the Internet, visiting favorite sites such as Salon, Paste, NPR, Pitchfork, Street Carnage, Relevant, and maybe a Christian satire site like Stuff Christians Like.

Typewriter

Antique typewriters may not have tons of utility for the 21st century academic, but they are a GREAT decorative item for the hipster who is desperate to convey a "pseudo-Luddite" image to the world. See how she's using a Mac while a Gilded-Age typewriter sits just feet away? That's called juxtaposition. It's a literary device.

 

Clothes

Though the bookish intellectual might appear to be indifferent about the threads they hurriedly throw on their backs every morning, this, like most everything else, has actually been analyzed thoroughly. Dressing as to appear as though they could care less, a considerable amount of thought, if not also time, goes in to making sure each piece is void of distracting logos (though artistic graphics are okay) or trend-driven shout-outs. Favoring function over fashion, the academic hipster is prone to wear their jeans until threadbare and their tees until - Oh, wait. They're still wearing those ratty old things.

 

Globe

Christian hipsters love to travel, but none moreso than the academic-minded sort—who have an international hankering from the minute they set foot in Anthropology 101. Though usually traveling on the cheap (or as part of a study-abroad program at school), many Christian hipsters manage to see dozens of countries and cultures by the time they are 30.

Liturgical Calendar

A liturgical calendar like this one accomplishes a multitude of things for the Christian hipster. On one hand, it reminds them to pay close attention to the church calendar, including helpful listings of which scriptures to read on, say, the 7th Sunday of Pentecost. But it also provides a great conversation piece in which the following questions might be asked by non-hipster onlookers: "What is Epiphany?" "Easter is six weeks long?" or "Is there nothing sacred about July?" To which the Christian hipster will enthusiastically respond by launching into a sermon about "the beautiful journey of recovering the ancient traditions of the church."

 

Time Magazine "Jesus Revolution" Cover

Any contemporary Christian hipster interested in their roots will have great appreciation for the Jesus Movement (aka hippie Christians) from the 70s. They might take special joy in displaying some sort of psychedelic/hippie/buddie Jesus in a tongue-in-cheek way, as in this iconic cover image from Time magazine's June 21, 1971, cover story ("The New Rebel Cry: Jesus Is Coming!") about the Jesus People phenomenon.

 

The Bookish Intellectual

Usually a grad student and/or hardcore lifetime learner, this erudite iteration of the Christian hipster priortizes the life of the mind over the life of the wardrobe (though make no mistake: every inch of their appearance is carefully calculated in that patented "I'm a philosopher so don't have time to look in a mirror" sort of way). Thoroughly conversant in all manner of mid-century Christian existentialism (Tillich, Bultmann, etc), the Bookish Intellectual is a frequent user of such words as "Other," "problematize," "ecclesiology," and "historicity." Typically well-traveled (semesters in Oxford or Berlin most likely) and impressively well-read (or at least impressively well aware of all the right books), this is the type of hipster who thrives anytime serious thought is given to just about anything. Is there a theology of corned beef and cabbage? Probably not, but the idea excites the Bookish Intellectual. They live and breathe implications... whether it be the cadence of words in their Anglican church's liturgy, a feminist reading of McGee and Me, or the eschatological significance of the rise of Twitter. It's all worthy of inquiry.