AbstractThis essay examines the Bible in American television, focusing in particular on the twenty-first century. It suggests that there are three broad categories which may helpfully illustrate and encompass the diverse ways in which the Bible appears and/or is utilized: (i) educating about the Bible (e.g., documentaries); (ii) dramatizing the Bible (renditions of biblical stories); and (iii) drawing on the Bible (the impact or use of the Bible in other television programs). Examining each of these in turn, this essay highlights the prevalence of the Bible within television and thus within American popular culture more generally, as well as considering some of the myriad ways in which it has been read, used, and interpreted. In particular, it endeavors to show how the medium can function as a tool for both reflecting and promoting levels of biblical literacy among its audience.
CitationCollins, M.A. (2021). “Television and the Bible in American Popular Culture”. In D.W. Clanton, Jr., and T.R. Clark (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and American Popular Culture (pp. 309-29). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
PublisherOxford University Press
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