TV-Preachers, Media and Materiality - a cultural studies approach
The Institute for Religious Studies at Heidelberg University, and Prof. Dr. Katja Rakow, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University are proud to announce a new research network. The interdisciplinary network aims to develop new approaches to the field of American televangelism.
The academic discussion of American televangelism had its heyday in the 1970's and 1980's. It focused, however, mainly on the personalities, lifestyles, and teachings of TV-preachers. They were often criticized for watering down the Gospel and the research focused strongly on the assumed entertaining and superficial character of the religious television programs.
The research network aims to promote a new focus on the contents and formats of the televangelist programs, their aesthetic dimensions, and their medial network forms. We build on the theoretical work currently undertaken in the field of medialization and materialty of religion. Firmly grounded in a cultural studies approach, we aim to analyze the phenomenon of American televangelism in a historical, contemporary, and global perspective.
The participating researchers jointly organize workshops, conference panels, and guest lectures and work together on publications and funding applications.