The Church on TV: Portrayals of Priests, Pastors and Nuns on American Television Series

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Sister Bertrille, Father Dowling, and Reverend Camden - these three characters span the history of television's depiction of church leaders, from "The Flying Nun (1967-1970)" to "The Father Dowling Mysteries (1989-1990)" and "7th Heaven (1996-2007)". Each exemplifies one of three trends in television's chronicle of the church, from shows of the 1960s-70s that focus on internal conflicts in the church, to those of the 1980s and early 1990s that illustrate the church's struggle for relevance in the modern world, and finally those of the 1990s through today that portray the church in the family context. Along the way, the book discusses the programs' depiction of various issues facing the church of their times, including: the role of women in the church; clerics reconsidering their call; the sexuality of clerics; the ecumenical movement; and the church's response to abortion, homosexuality, racial injustice and illegal immigration. "The Church on TV" looks at American broadcast network programs that focused regularly and principally on church leaders. It takes a historical-critical approach, discussing seventeen programs in-depth and looking not only at how each depicted the church and its leaders but also comparing this depiction to actual church history. What trends emerged? Why? How accurate was the portrayal? What does the depiction say about American popular culture and its view of religion in American society? It's these probing questions and answers that bring the current research up to date.

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From the Back Cover:

"Wolff's engaging and critical study recognizes that the Church is a fixture in television's version of America's cultural landscape. As he traces the Church's evolving role on TV, Wolff argues persuasively that when a show presents the Church as a stable social presence, the show is successful... For scholars and fans alike, this is a valuable addition to the literature on television." -- Jamey Heit, author of The Springfield Reformation"Provocative and compelling, Wolff's analysis yields fresh insight into the representation of religious characters on television, as well as the issues and cultural contexts of both the religious and television audiences. This is both a great text for classroom use and an exhaustive resources for the study of the representation of religious characters on television." -- Professor Joe Morris, Lecturer in the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University

About the Author:

Richard Wolff is an Associate Professor of Speech and Media Studies at Dowling College, Long Island, New York. He holds a master's in theology from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and a doctorate in mass communication from Ohio University.

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9781441141095: The Church on TV: Portrayals of Priests, Pastors and Nuns on American Television Series

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Book Description Continuum Publishing Corporation, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Each show depicts the church and its leaders and compares it to actual church history. Sister Bertrille, Father Dowling, and Reverend Camden - these three characters span the history of television's depiction of church leaders, from "The Flying Nun (1967-1970)" to "The Father Dowling Mysteries (1989-1990)" and "7th Heaven (1996-2007)". Each exemplifies one of three trends in television's chronicle of the church, from shows of the 1960s-70s that focus on internal conflicts in the church, to those of the 1980s and early 1990s that illustrate the church's struggle for relevance in the modern world, and finally those of the 1990s through today that portray the church in the family context. Along the way, the book discusses the programs' depiction of various issues facing the church of their times, including: the role of women in the church; clerics reconsidering their call; the sexuality of clerics; the ecumenical movement; and the church's response to abortion, homosexuality, racial injustice and illegal immigration. "The Church on TV" looks at American broadcast network programs that focused regularly and principally on church leaders.It takes a historical-critical approach, discussing seventeen programs in-depth and looking not only at how each depicted the church and its leaders but also comparing this depiction to actual church history. What trends emerged? Why? How accurate was the portrayal? What does the depiction say about American popular culture and its view of religion in American society? It's these probing questions and answers that bring the current research up to date. Seller Inventory # AAV9781441157973

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