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Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon
     

Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon

by Kathryn Lofton
 

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ISBN-10: 0520267524

ISBN-13: 9780520267527

Pub. Date: 03/02/2011

Publisher: University of California Press


“Today on Oprah,” intoned the TV announcer, and all over America viewers tuned in to learn, empathize, and celebrate. In this book, Kathryn Lofton investigates the Oprah phenomenon and finds in Winfrey’s empire—Harpo Productions, O Magazine, and her new television network—an uncanny reflection of religion in modern society

Overview


“Today on Oprah,” intoned the TV announcer, and all over America viewers tuned in to learn, empathize, and celebrate. In this book, Kathryn Lofton investigates the Oprah phenomenon and finds in Winfrey’s empire—Harpo Productions, O Magazine, and her new television network—an uncanny reflection of religion in modern society. Lofton shows that when Oprah liked, needed, or believed something, she offered her audience nothing less than spiritual revolution, reinforced by practices that fuse consumer behavior, celebrity ambition, and religious idiom. In short, Oprah Winfrey is a media messiah for a secular age. Lofton’s unique approach also situates the Oprah enterprise culturally, illuminating how Winfrey reflects and continues historical patterns of American religions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520267527
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/02/2011
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
798,664
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Practicing Purchase: The Prosperity Gospel of a Spiritual Capitalism 20

2 Celebrity Spirit: The Incorporation of Your Best Life 51

3 Diverting Conversions: The Makeover as Social Rite 82

4 Preacher Queen: The Race and Gender of America's Confessor 118

5 Reading Religiously: The Reformations of Oprah's Book Club 148

6 Missionary Gift: The Globalization of Inspiration 190

Conclusion 206

Epilogue: Political Spirituality, or the Oprahfication of Obama 213

Notes 223

Index 275

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