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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55487
Doc. No:TL25441
Call number:‭3236921‬
Main Entry:Jonathan L. Walton
Title & Author:A cultural analysis of the black electronic church phenomenonJonathan L. Walton
College:Princeton Theological Seminary
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:308
Abstract:In the post civil rights era, African American television evangelists and megachurch pastors have a seemingly ubiquitous presence in popular culture. As a result of their constant television broadcasts, mass video distributions and printed publications these figures have greatly influenced the landscape of African American Christian practice. For this reason, Christian televangelists are on par with popular entertainers and athletes in the African American community as cultural celebrities. They are highly touted for their unorthodox spiritual messages as well as their lavish lifestyles. But more than pop-culture icons, leading televangelists also influence American political culture. The producers of this form of religious expression are purposeful in their representations of the faith. Political and partisan persuasions such as support for the war in Iraq and opposition to gay and lesbian rights are all presented as signifiers of the Christian faith. In addition, via mass mediated images, the valorization of rugged-individualism, the unbridled accumulation of wealth and the adhering to patriarchal conception of the ordering of society are transmitted in such a way to equate these themes with the gospel message. For these reasons, the aim of this dissertation is to engage the black electronic church as a form of popular and political culture. Employing the methodological resources of cultural studies this project seeks to evaluate culturally and ethically the explicit and implicit messages of leading televangelists. By reading the ministries of Bishop T.D. Jakes, Bishop Eddie L. Long and Pastor Creflo A. Dollar as cultural texts full of meaning potential---i.e. sermons, writings, biographical narratives, and aesthetic representations---this project asserts that despite their concern for personal liberation, social advancement and economic empowerment in the African American community, the dominant themes that extend from their respective ministries reinforce particular cultural myths about American society. These cultural myths, I argue, serve to frustrate the liberatory aims of these ministries by unwittingly affirming social injustice and structures of dominance in America.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Black churches; Dollar, Creflo A.; Electronic church; Jakes, T. D.; Long, Eddie L.; Prosperity gospel; Televangelism; Religion; Black history; Religious congregations; Mass media; 0330:Religious congregations; 0708:Mass media; 0328:Black history; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:P. J. Paris
Added Entry:Princeton Theological Seminary