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SMC103Y1 Chapter Notes -Lynn Schofield Clark, Televangelism, Gregory M. Erickson

St. Michael's College Courses
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Jennifer Harris

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Religion and Popular Culture: Rescripting the Sacred Richard W. Santana and Gregory
passive TV activity -> interactive, comprehensive viewing experiences
critical reading, taking more seriously
shift in attitudes, TV not limited to Raymond Williams “flow” of “uninterrupted,
unpunctuated stream of programmes, advertisements, announcements and logos”
take charge, interactive and control, creating viewing exp of own, watch when want,
multiple viewings
fans study every episode and scene, review dialogue, eamine… skip over
commercials, like-minded viewers in online communities
“fan communities are able to create a discourse and theoretical network on their
own terms, based on rigorous and detailed viewing experiences” (114)
like Am Xnity, fan-based theorizing operates outside of institutional/legitimated
modes of thought… TV and religious practices
Star Trek fan cultures, reinterpretations, authors into famous figures, vicil religion
with organization, dogmas, canon of sacred texts, rituals, recruitment system
TV now “observable text in themselves” forum for “serious intellectual debate,
primarily visible on the internet” (115)
Henry Jenkins “fandom is one of those spaces where people are learning to live
and collaborate within a knowledge community” (115)
Vernacular theory-making, vernacular culture with own practices Thomas
Jenkins fans “central to how culture operates” -> active audience now taken for
granted, though controversial before
Midrash online, (vs Christian search for unity) gather various meanings into one,
diferentiation, multiplicity [model for fan theories and viewings]
Complex dense debates taking place around internet and TV as popular forums
Pop culture and religion intersect, mirror and influence each other
Televangelism “televangelists pare their message down to the simplest
denominator believe this and you will be save, follow the word and you will be
happy often with a plea for money, and without addressing all of the various
shades of belief (118)
Contradiction of “paradoxically solid” truth that is “unchanging yet intensely
subjective,” equally based in unerring scripture and individual private experience
Pop culture mirror simplified perspective of televangelism and ofer ob=ppositional
Negotiation space of pressuring issues of philosophy, theology, morality
Intersection of tv drama, fan comm and scholars build up around select tv dramas ->
pop culture reinvented, rescripted traditional religious activity
Televising God and presence
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