Saturday, April 23, 2011

The American Isis OPRAH? - Yale Scholar Asks Her Own Answers

Oprah is Huge! No doubt. However, a Religious Icon?

A Yale Prof wrote a monograph -soon on bookshelves everywhere (but not at Borders on 95th Street, because it closed) - arguing that Oprah is a religious icon. Get this treacle:

Yale professor Kathryn Lofton has written a book about Oprah Winfrey as a religious icon. Lofton compares the media mogul's speech patterns to those of southern preachers and believes she employs a sermon-like structure to each show. She tells the New York Post: "Gospel is a word that means 'good news.' Oprah says that the good news is you."
My Turn!

Yale's Kathryn Lofton* -A Few Eggs Shy of an Easter Basket?

Ripped from Professor Kathryn Lofton's page at Yale - Prof Lofton's rigorous pedagogy.

Q. How does the scholar name the religious?

Me: A as Q. The Religious What?

How do scholars and students determine the history and meanings of religions within the political and social histories of the United States?

Me: A as Q. Badly?

Q.How do we understand these histories in the light of concepts of the secular, the modern West, or modernity?

Me: A as Q. In sweet words of the Apostles et al. to Jesus on Ascension Thursday, 'Come Again?'

Q. What are the relationships between consumer activity and religious identity or between sexual and religious practices?

Me: A as Q. Oprah? . . .Mother Earth? Wait, wait don't tell me!! Murial Abbot? No, Nancy Kulp! Oprah?

At Yale, Professor Lofton teaches courses that seek to answer these questions of history simultaneously with those of social science classification and cultural studies.
No box scores?

Oprah - Seat of Wisdom? Nah.

And yet Yale is a preeminent American Seat of Learning. Happy Easter!

Department of Religious Studies
P.O. Box 208287
New Haven, CT 06520-8287
(203) 432-0836
2009 - Assistant Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies, Yale University
courtesy appointments in the Department of History and Yale Divinity School
2008 - 2009 Associate Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University
2006 - 2008 Assistant Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies, Indiana University

2005 - 2006 Visiting Professor of Religion and Humanities, Reed College
2005 Ph.D., Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Thesis: “Making the Modern in Religious America, 1870-1935”
2002 M.A., Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Honors, U.S. Religious History and Religion and Culture
2000 A.B, University of Chicago
Honors, the Committee on Religion in the Humanities and the Department of History
Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011)
The Modernity in Mr. Shaw: Religion and Sexuality in America (in progress)
Edited Volumes
Women’s Work: An Anthology of African-American Women’s Historical Writings from Antebellum
America to the Harlem Renaissance, co-edited with Laurie Maffly-Kipp (New York: Oxford University
Press, 2010).
Indiana Magazine of History, 105: 2 (June 2009), “Special Issue: Thomas Hart Benton’s Indiana Murals at
75,” co-edited with Matthew Guterl.

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