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American Protestants and TV in the 1950s : Responses to a New Medium - Michele Rosenthal

American Protestants and TV in the 1950s

Responses to a New Medium

By: Michele Rosenthal, Martin E. Marty (Contribution by)

Hardcover

Published: 1st July 2007
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While television today is taken for granted, Americans in the 1950s faced the challenge of negotiating the new medium's place in the home and in American culture in general. Protestant leaders--both mainstream and evangelical--began to think carefully about what television meant for their communities and its potential impact on their work. Using the American Protestant experience of the introduction of television, Rosenthal illustrates the importance of the interplay between a new medium and its users in an engaging book suitable for general readers and students alike.

"Why are evangelicals early adopters of new media technology while the

Protestant mainline responds ambivalently to innovations in mass communications? Rosenthal analyzes the nexus of technology, faith, and culture to answer key questions in the emerging field of religion and media studies. Her book extends previous scholarship on religion and television through in-depth case studies of how American religious groups responded to the potential of a new medium for outreach." - Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California



"Rosenthal's outstanding account fills a long-standing gap in our understanding of American media history. The new medium of television posed a perceived threat to the authority of the Protestant establishment in education, politics, and the domestic sphere. The reaction Rosenthal details tells us much about the place of Protestantism in the culture in the mid-twentieth century and much about how the media age has de-stabilized and re-structured religion and religious institutions. This excellent history provides fascinating and telling insights into the ways that these institutions saw themselves and this new medium. Their perception of threats to institutional authority and to domestic values posed by television continues to echo across debates over the role of media in the U.S. An invaluable resource to scholars and educators in religious studies, religious history, media studies, media history, and media policy." - Stewart M. Hoover, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Director, Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, University of Colorado



"In this engaging and accessible book, Rosenthal studies American Protestants at mid-century - then the clear leader in the realm of religious influence on American politics - to learn why they were so skittish about television, and how that contributed to the rise of evangelicalism s power in the U.S. This is a provocative look at a previously untold story, and anyone who wonders about how U.S. religion came into its current configuration in public life needs to read this book." - Lynn Schofield Clark, author of From Angels to Aliens

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: The Triumph of Televangelism and the Decline of Mainline Religious Broadcastingp. 1
American Protestantism and the Television: A Paradoxical Relationshipp. 7
"Turn It Off!": The Liberal Protestant Critique of Televisionp. 21
Mainline Religious Broadcasting: A Failure?p. 37
"Preserving Our American Heritage": Television and the Construction of Evangelical Identityp. 63
"The Age of Space Requires Space Age Teaching Tools": Technology on Evangelical Termsp. 85
Protestants and the Television: The Paradox Reassessedp. 109
Afterwordp. 117
Notesp. 121
Bibliographyp. 157
Indexp. 171
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781403965738
ISBN-10: 1403965730
Series: Religion/Culture/Critique
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 179
Published: 1st July 2007
Publisher: Palgrave USA
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 1