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Overview

In this book, religion reporter Marcia Nelson explores the spiritual dimensions that are prevalent in all aspects of the Oprah Winfrey media empire. Though Oprah is rarely explicitly religious on her television show or in her magazine, Nelson points out that there are several major Christian themes that weave through these aspects of her life and work: confession, redemption, healing, mission, forgiveness, and salvation. Nelson concludes that Oprah is a "compelling spiritual teacher in a spiritually eclectic and ever-practical America." This book will appeal both to Oprah fans and people who are fascinated by the intersection of religion and popular culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The title might elicit a double take from some readers, but author Marcia Z. Nelson intends no sarcasm. In this unauthorized book, freelance religion writer Nelson praises Oprah Winfrey for promoting gospel messages of gratitude, empathy, forgiveness, and self-examination on her TV show. Oprah's plain talk and living examples present "good news" in ways that can be appreciated by even secular audience. Nelson's praise for O isn't quite sky-high: She cautions that Winfrey's emphasis on constant self-improvement encourages an unquenchable desire for success. An insightful book about a cultural icon.
Publishers Weekly
Oprah Winfrey is inspirational, but does she really proclaim the "gospel," meaning literally, "good news"? Nelson says yes, and counts the ways. The best-known female talk show host in the world is a "reminder service of... values," a font of self-help advice and a vision of humanity, says Nelson, a freelance religion writer (Come and See). She praises Oprah for using her entertainment pulpit to promote such positive spiritual values as gratitude, empathy, forgiveness and self-examination. Best of all, Oprah does it with plain talk. Nelson says another secret to Oprah's broad appeal in the marketplace for TV ratings is that she never gets too specific on matters religious or political. After painting a glowing portrait of Ms. O, you may wonder, is there anything about Oprah and her media empire that isn't "good news" to Nelson? "The almost compulsive excess of it all." Nelson notes that Oprah's emphasis on constant self-improvement encourages an "unquenchable desire" for success. Oprah didn't authorize this lively and information-packed book, but she may one day wish she had. Her fans will love it and her detractors may even lighten up enough to appreciate Oprah and her influence after reading it. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664229429
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Series: The Gospel According To... Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author


Marcia Z. Nelson is a religion writer for Publishers Weekly. Her writing has also appeared in The Christian Century, The Utne Reader, and the Chicago Tribune. She is the Midwest correspondent for ReligionLink and a member of the Religion Newswriters Association. She is the author of Come and Sit and The God of Second Chances.
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