Watch This!

9780814794173: Hardback
Release Date: 1st February 2009

9780814794524: Paperback
Release Date: 1st February 2009

9780814795477: PDF
Release Date: 1st February 2009

5 black and white illustrations

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 300

Series Religion, Race, and Ethnicity

NYU Press

Watch This!

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism

Hardback / £77.00
Paperback / £21.99
PDF / £24.00

Through their constant television broadcasts, mass video distributions, and printed publications, African American religious broadcasters have a seemingly ubiquitous presence in popular culture. They are on par with popular entertainers and athletes in the African American community as cultural icons even as they are criticized by others for taking advantage of the devout in order to subsidize their lavish lifestyles.
For these reasons questions abound. Do televangelists proclaim the message of the gospel or a message of greed? Do they represent the "authentic" voice of the black church or the Christian Right in blackface? Does the phenomenon reflect orthodox "Christianity" or ethnocentric "Americaninity" wrapped in religious language?
Watch This! seeks to move beyond such polarizing debates by critically delving into the dominant messages and aesthetic styles of African American televangelists and evaluating their ethical implications.

Jonathan L. Walton is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside.