Title

The Sanctuary of the Spectacle: Megachurches and the Production of Christian Celebrities and Consumers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-7-2021

Publication Title

Journal of Media and Religion

First page number:

1

Last page number:

12

Abstract

Using mixed qualitative methods, this research analyzes the entanglement of religion, media, and celebrity culture in the context of a Las Vegas-based megachurch. First, we analyze how the church adopts a culture industry approach, transforming and retrofitting it for religious practice. Second, we unpack the implications of media and celebrity culture as a platform for the transmission of religious meaning. Finally, we explore the compounding quality of these elements (celebrity, technology, and religion) and its effects in this form of religious syncretism. Though a reductionistic analysis may be tempting, this research presents a case in which new forms of technology functions to synthesize and augment a blending of celebrity culture and spiritual practice that escapes any singular type of characterization. Religion, in this context, presents many physical and virtual faces, rooted in the blending of heterogenous elements in the worship experience.

Keywords

Religion; Media; Celebrity culture; Las Vegas-based megachurch; Religious syncretism

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Sociology of Religion

Language

English

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