Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen and the Power of Television / Edition 1

Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen and the Power of Television / Edition 1

by Christopher Owen Lynch
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813120675

ISBN-13: 9780813120676

Pub. Date: 09/28/1998

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

When the popularity of Milton Berle's television show began to slip, Berle quipped, "At least I'm losing my ratings to God!" He was referring to the popularity of "Life Is Worth Living" and its host, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The show aired from 1952 to 1957, and Sheen won an Emmy, beating competition that included Lucille Ball, Jimmy Durante, and Edward R. Murrow.…  See more details below

Overview

When the popularity of Milton Berle's television show began to slip, Berle quipped, "At least I'm losing my ratings to God!" He was referring to the popularity of "Life Is Worth Living" and its host, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The show aired from 1952 to 1957, and Sheen won an Emmy, beating competition that included Lucille Ball, Jimmy Durante, and Edward R. Murrow.

What was the secret to Sheen's on-air success? Christopher Lynch examines how he reached a diverse audience by using television to synthesize traditional American Protestantism with a reassuring vision of Catholicism as patriotic and traditional. Sheen provided his viewers with a sense of stability by sentimentalizing the medieval world and holding it out as a model for contemporary society. Offering clear-cut moral direction in order to eliminate the anxiety of cultural change, he discussed topics ranging from the role of women to the perils of Communism.

Sheen's rhetoric united both Protestant and Catholic audiences, reflecting—and forming—a vision of mainstream, postwar America. Lynch argues that Sheen's persuasive television presentations helped Catholics gain social acceptance and paved the way for religious ecumenism in America. Yet, Sheen's work also sowed the seeds for the crisis of competing ideologies in the modern American Catholic Church.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813120676
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.92(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The Shaping of a Medieval Knight for a Modern World15
2Quest for Stability in the Midst of Change32
3The Medieval City and the Crusade for the American Ideal59
4A Television Troubadour Sings His Medieval Lady's Praise87
5Bishop Sheen's Role Negotiation from Ascetic Bishop to Television Celebrity120
6Bishop Sheen as Harbinger of an American Camelot151
Notes161
Bibliography178
Index196

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >