By Michele Rosenthal
Whereas tv at the present time is taken without any consideration, americans within the Nineteen Fifties confronted the problem of negotiating the hot medium's position in the house and in American tradition in most cases. Protestant leaders--both mainstream and evangelical--began to consider carefully approximately what tv intended for his or her groups and its capability influence on their paintings. utilizing the yank Protestant event of the creation of tv, Rosenthal illustrates the significance of the interaction among a brand new medium and its clients in an interesting e-book appropriate for common readers and scholars alike.
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Additional resources for American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium (Religion Culture Critique)
4 Notably, this so-called liberal Protestant lack of “inventiveness” is dated (more or less) to the era that coincides with the rise of broadcasting. 5 This critical approach toward broadcasting shares something in common with the secular post–World War II critique of mass culture and fear of technology’s (mis)uses. 6 Why at that particular moment in history were liberal Protestant leaders incapable of reinventing the wheel? The new medium of broadcasting may have made that task more difficult or less inviting.
These pleas for practical involvement in television, however, were largely overshadowed by negative evaluations of programming content. For the editors, little on television warranted positive praise or even critical evaluation. Even religious 22 American Protestants and TV in the 1950s television was largely ignored by The Christian Century. True to its rather highbrow, intellectual character, the magazine was reluctant to cede to this new medium its due cultural weight. 3 Throughout the nineteenth century, liberal Protestant leaders played an active role in creating and defining acceptably wholesome forms of commercial culture.
The old Federal Council had lost its credibility amongst lay Protestants—it was seen as modernizing and radical and too far removed from the concerns of everyday Christians. The National Council was to be far more embracing, if far more limiting in its potential scope. The main aim was to forge a consensus amongst the divided Protestant ranks. A brief look at the commemorative volume of the constituting convention of the National Council shows the centrality of this agenda. On the cover of the book is a picture of the assembly—delegates sitting at tables in the shape of a cross looking toward a stage, where the theme—“This Nation Under God”—hangs from above: On stage and around the room, clusters of flags—the American, the church, and the UN—are found at regular intervals.
American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium (Religion Culture Critique) by Michele Rosenthal