By Sean McCloud
In an exam of faith insurance in Time, Newsweek, Life, The Saturday night Post, Ebony, Christianity Today, National Review, and different information and specified curiosity magazines, Sean McCloud combines spiritual background and social concept to investigate how and why mass-market magazines depicted religions as "mainstream" or "fringe" within the post-World struggle II usa. McCloud argues that during assuming an American mainstream that used to be white, heart type, and religiously liberal, newshounds within the biggest magazines, below the guise of aim reporting, provided a religious apologetics for the dominant social order.
McCloud analyzes articles on quite a lot of non secular routine from the Nineteen Fifties during the early Nineteen Nineties, together with Pentecostalism, the kingdom of Islam, California cults, the Jesus flow, South Asian specialists, and occult spirituality. He exhibits that, in portraying convinced ideals as "fringe," magazines evoked long-standing debates in American spiritual background approximately emotional as opposed to rational faith, unique as opposed to generic spirituality, and general as opposed to irregular degrees of piety. He additionally lines the moving line among mainstream and fringe, exhibiting how such boundary shifts coincided with higher alterations in society, tradition, and the journal undefined. McCloud's astute research is helping us comprehend either large conceptions of faith within the usa and the position of mass media in American society.
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Extra info for Making the American Religious Fringe: Exotics, Subversives, and Journalists, 1955-1993
76 Groups that were labeled Third Force, like Pentecostals and 42 monitoring the marginal masses Jehovah’s Witnesses, were not the only groups that journalists represented as overly emotional and intellectually weak. The exoticized ‘‘California cults’’ also received attention. This is signiﬁcant because it shows that even groups that attracted middle- and upper-class adherents, as some California groups did, could sometimes be charged with zealotry. Eugene Fleming’s ‘‘California Cults and Crackpots,’’ published in Cosmopolitan in 1959, showed little equivocation in its negative portrayal of religious zeal’s dangers.
And their depictions sometimes diverged widely from those in national news and general-interest magazines. ’’ Zimmerman, general superintendent of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, directly countered the Third Force classiﬁcation proposed by Henry Van Dusen and promoted by Life, Newsweek, and Christian Century. ’’ 94 He continued that ‘‘churches found in the ﬁrst two divisions are strongly represented in the National Association of Evangelicals.
As an ideal, it was contrasted with its opposite: undemocratic, anti-individualistic, godless communism. Given the desire for a strong cultural consensus to oppose the communist other, magazines predictably stressed the ‘‘Americanness’’ of the religious mainstream. Look provides a good example. S. 28 Just as the desire for cultural consensus led magazines to embrace the triple melting pot, it could also result in criticism of religious prejudice and divisiveness. Again, Look provides a good example.