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Christianity and the Mass Media in America: Toward a Democratic Accommodation (Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series)

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Christianity and the Mass Media in America: Toward a Democratic Accommodation (Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The mass media and religious groups in America regularly argue about news bias, sex and violence on television, movie censorship, advertiser boycotts, broadcast and film content rating systems, government regulation of the media, the role of mass evangelism in a democracy, and many other issues. In the United States the major disputes between religion and the media usually have involved Christian churches or parachurch ministries, on the one hand, and the so-called secular media, on the other. Often the Christian Right locks horns with supposedly liberal Eastern media elite and Hollywood entertainment companies. When a major Protestant denomination calls for an economic boycott of Disney, the resulting news reports suggest business as usual in the tensions between faith groups and media empires.

    Schultze demonstrates how religion and the media in America have borrowed each other’s rhetoric. In the process, they have also helped to keep each other honest, pointing out respective foibles and pretensions. Christian media have offered the public as well as religious tribes some of the best media criticism— better than most of the media criticism produced by mainstream media themselves. Meanwhile, mainstream media have rightly taken particular churches to task for misdeeds as well as offered some surprisingly good depictions of religious life.

     The tension between Christian groups and the media in America ultimately is a good thing that can serve the interest of democratic life. As Alexis de Tocqueville discovered in the 1830s, American Christianity can foster the “habits of the heart” that ward off the antisocial acids of radical individualism. And, as John Dewey argued a century later, the media offer some of our best hopes for maintaining a public life in the face of the religious tribalism that can erode democracy from within. Mainstream media and Christianity will always be at odds in a democracy. That is exactly the way it should be for the good of each one.

 

Book News Annotation:

Addressing the relationship between the mass media and Christian tribes in the US, Schultze (communication arts and sciences, Calvin College) finds a dynamic tension between civil generality in the former and a sectarian particularity in the latter. Christianity has a metanarrative in which God acts in real human history, he says, while the mainstream media has a subnarrative of immanence in which human action is the beginning and end of history. He argues that the underlying tension and frequent cooperation can contribute positively to public and private life in democratic America.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Schultze demonstrates how religion and the media in America have borrowed each other’s rhetoric. In the process, they have also helped to keep each other honest, pointing out respective foibles and pretensions. Christian media have offered the public as well as religious tribes some of the best media criticism— better than most of the media criticism produced by mainstream media themselves. Meanwhile, mainstream media have rightly taken particular churches to task for misdeeds as well as offered some surprisingly good depictions of religious life.

 

About the Author

Quentin J. Schultze is Professor of Communication Arts and Sciencs at Calvin College. He has published a number of books about media and Christianity, including Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Age of Information.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780870136962
Author:
Schultze, Quentin J.
Publisher:
Michigan State University Press
Location:
East Lansing, Mich.
Subject:
Christianity
Subject:
Mass media
Subject:
Mass media in religion
Subject:
Christianity - Christian Life - General
Subject:
Mass Media - General
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Christian Life - General
Subject:
Mass media in religion -- United States.
Subject:
Mass media -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
Subject:
Rhetoric
Subject:
Christianity - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Rhetoric & Public Affairs
Series Volume:
107-961
Publication Date:
20031031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
440
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Business » Communication
Business » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
Religion » Christianity » General

Christianity and the Mass Media in America: Toward a Democratic Accommodation (Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series) New Hardcover
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$84.95 In Stock
Product details 440 pages Michigan State University Press - English 9780870136962 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Schultze demonstrates how religion and the media in America have borrowed each other’s rhetoric. In the process, they have also helped to keep each other honest, pointing out respective foibles and pretensions. Christian media have offered the public as well as religious tribes some of the best media criticism— better than most of the media criticism produced by mainstream media themselves. Meanwhile, mainstream media have rightly taken particular churches to task for misdeeds as well as offered some surprisingly good depictions of religious life.

 

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