A pioneering study at the intersection of religion and media, Small Screen, Big Picture treats television as a virtual meeting place where Americans across racial, ethnic, economic and religious lines find instructive and inspirational narratives. An interdisciplinary tour de force, this book describes how television converts social concerns, cultural conundrums and metaphysical questions into stories that explore and even shape who we are and would like to be--the building blocks of religious speculation.
Diane Winston (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Associate Professor and Knight Chair in Media and Religion, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. She is the author of Faith in the Market: Religion and Urban Commercial Culture (2002), and Red-Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army (1999).
Introduction Diane Winston Old Wine in New Skins 1. True Believers and Atheists Need not Apply: Faith and Mainstream Television Drama S. Elizabeth Bird 2. In the Beginning ... Deadwood Horace Newcomb 3. The Wire: Playing the Game Craig Detweiler 4. "For What I Have Done and What I Have Failed to Do": Vernacular Catholicism and The West Wing Leonard Norman Primiano 5. Mixed Blessing: Generational Effects of Interfaith Marriage in Everwood and The O.C. Vincent Brook 6. "The Fire Next Time": Sleeper Cell and Muslims on Television Post 9/11 Amir Hussain Neither Male nor Female 7. "Elect Xena God": Religion Remixed in a (Post-)Television Culture Sheila Briggs 8. "You Know How It Is with Nuns...": Religion and Television's Sacred/Secular Fetuses Heather Hendershot 9. Moralizing Whiteness in Joan of Arcadia Lanita Jacobs-Huey 10. "A Vagina Ain't a Halo": Gender and Religion in Saving Grace and Battlestar Galatica Anthea Butler and Diane Winston Revelation 11. "Chiariidaa o Sukue, Sekai o Sukue!": Nuclear Dread and the Pokemonization of American Religion in Season One of Heroes Rudy V. Busto 12. You LOST Me: Mystery, Fandom, and Religion in ABC's LOST Lynn Schofield Clark 13. "Have a Little Faith": Religious Vision in Fox's Prison Break Marcia Dawkins 14. "Who am I? Where am I Going?": Life, Death and Religion in The Sopranos Adele Reinhartz 15. A Television Auteur Confronts God: the Religious Imagination of Tom Fontana Elijah Siegler