By Michele Rosenthal

ISBN-10: 023060921X

ISBN-13: 9780230609211

ISBN-10: 1403965730

ISBN-13: 9781403965738

Whereas tv this present day is taken without any consideration, american citizens within the Fifties confronted the problem of negotiating the recent medium's position in the house and in American tradition ordinarily. Protestant leaders--both mainstream and evangelical--began to consider carefully approximately what tv intended for his or her groups and its strength impression on their paintings. utilizing the yankee Protestant event of the advent of tv, Rosenthal illustrates the significance of the interaction among a brand new medium and its clients in an enticing ebook appropriate for basic readers and scholars alike.

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20 The National Council agenda thus was rhetorically defined in terms of the promotion and preservation of America’s semiestablished religion, a religion that was unsurprisingly largely indistinguishable from what Gramsci might have called the “spontaneous philosophy” of mainline Protestantism. In other words, the religion of the nation reflected the language, common Mainline Religious Broadcasting 41 sense, and folk religion common to mainline Protestantism, while eliminating the specifically Protestant or denominational references that could prevent potential assent (consent) by other historical blocs such as Catholics or Jews.

Academic research thus played a central role in determining BFC policy. Since the 1920s, modernist liberal Protestants had argued that social scientific studies could aid the churches in planning and decision making. The BFC leadership clearly operated under this assumption. 7 This case study of the BFC offers an important example of the way in which a religious organization addressed the challenge of a new communications medium. While it should not be considered as the sole representative of mainline or liberal Protestantism, the BFC of these early years certainly reflected a significant section of the liberal Protestant leadership.

As Cecilia Tichi and Lynn Spigel have documented, the advent of the television required Americans to reconfigure many aspects of domestic life: the structure of the living room, the way in which women’s work was perceived, and other such aspects. Clearly, domestic religion too was transformed in the process. In this respect, the advent of the television would prove to be far more threatening to Protestant hegemony than most liberal Protestant leaders could foresee. In contrast to the guest writers, the editors tended to be even more critical of television as a medium and were largely uninterested in the compensatory potential of religious television.

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American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium (Religion Culture Critique) by Michele Rosenthal


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