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. The Revelation will be Televised

. The Revelation will be Televised

Media, Celebrity, and Authority in Left Behind

Chapter:
(p.116) 6. The Revelation will be Televised
Source:
Plotting Apocalypse
Author(s):
Jennie Chapman
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617039034.003.0007

This chapter examines changing evangelical attitudes towards media, technology, and celebrity through an analysis of their depiction in Left Behind. In the modern period, American evangelicals have embraced television, film, and the internet as the most effective tools of evangelism at their disposal, a shift in attitudes that is evident in Left Behind. The novels repudiate Marshall McLuhan’s claim that ‘the medium is the message’ by showing evangelicals seizing the technology of the Antichrist for the cause of Christ; they thus effect the erasure of the medium itself in order to elevate the agency and intention of its human user. The chapter also discusses the figure of the celebrity preacher in the novels in relation to notions of authority and idolatry, suggesting that celebrity preachers are depicted as a technology of affect that mediates believers’ relationship with the divine.

Keywords:   Media, Television, Internet, Celebrity, Marshall McLuhan

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