Christotainment: Selling Jesus through Popular Culture by Shirley R. Steinberg

By Shirley R. Steinberg

For greater than thousand years Christian enlargement and proselytizing used to be couched when it comes to “defending the faith.” until eventually lately within the usa, a lot of that protection got here within the type of reactions opposed to the “liberal” affects channeled via big-corporate media equivalent to well known tune, Hollywood videos, and community and cable tv. however the election of Ronald Reagan as a Hollywood President brought Christian the United States to the instruments of advertisements and multimedia appeals to young ones and formative years to win new believers to God’s armies.   Christotainment examines how Christian fundamentalism has realigned its armies to wrestle threats opposed to it by means of utilising the forces it as soon as thought of its leader enemies: the leisure media, together with videos, tv, song, cartoons, subject matter parks, games, and books. Invited members speak about the severe theoretical frameworks of top-selling units inside of Christian popular culture and the entice plenty of yankee souls in the course of the blessed marriage of corporatism and the search for excitement.

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The fact that Robertson’s pronouncements could be made to TV audiences measured in the millions and that comments such as his would constitute the religious news of the day points to the success of political fundamentalism and its media strate- 0813344058-Steinberg:Layout 1 12/16/08 11:24 AM Page 33 Christian Soldier Jesus 33 gies. Indeed, reporters from Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) now appear regularly as guest commentators on other TV and radio networks. These appearances give a legitimacy to Robertson’s work that reinforces the success of the Christotainment media empire.

Goldberg, M. 2007. The rise of Christian nationalism. Humanist 67, no. 5: 29–33. Hedges, C. 2006. American fascists: The Christian Right and the war on America. New York: Free Press. Hendershot, H. 1995. Shaking the world for Jesus: Media and conservative evangelical culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Hubert, D. 2006. G. I. Jesus? Denouncement of right-wing Christian BattleCry. html (accessed August 29, 2008). Kincheloe, J. 2008a. Critical pedagogy primer. 2nd ed. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

The success of the religious Right is intimately tied to this multifaceted media empire with its ability to market Jesus in creative new ways. At the time of this writing, political fundamentalist media outlets are not as big and widely dispersed as secular networks, but this relationship is changing. Christian radio is booming because of the success of contemporary Christian music. Between 2002 and 2005, the Christian radio audience grew 33 percent. Since 1998, the audience has grown 85 percent.

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