Notes on a season in-progress
Research for season 2 of Powers & Principalities has begun.
|Blake Chastain||Jan 27||2||1|
As we become acclimated to what will be ‘normal’ in 2021—schools and schedules resuming, a responsible presidency and Democratic party working against a Republican party hellbent on obstruction of justice and progress under the bad-faith guise of “unity,” and thousands of deaths a day lost to COVID—against that backdrop I’m also working to settle into a routine developing my podcasts and this newsletter.
I’m in the research phase of the next season of Powers & Principalities, which will focus on white evangelicalism and media. I’ve begun building my reading list, and wanted to share some of it with you:
Shadow Network by Anne Nelson
This book looks at the role of the enigmatic Council for National Policy in shaping our media and politics in the United States. It’s troubling, but it’s the sort of investigative work that makes you reconsider….a lot. It helps explain how the Religious Right and their allies within the Radical Right have been so successful at messaging.
Evangelicals Incorporated by Daniel Vaca
This book looks at the evangelical book market. I’ve just begun this one, and I’m looking forward to reading more—especially as a former Christian bookstore employee.
For a long time, evangelical bookstores functioned as a gatekeeper of evangelical orthodoxy—often determining said orthodoxy as much by what books they didn’t carry as what they did. (Could you find Max Lucado on the shelves? Yes. Could you find James Cone? Very likely not.) Now, evangelical publishers flood direct markets like the Amazon Kindle store through things like Kindle Monthly Deal promotions.
Culture Warlords by Talia Lavin
I have this book in my audiobook queue. Given the things we’ve witnessed in the past few years, let alone the past few weeks, no survey of “Christian media” would be complete without looking at the most extreme forms available online.
The People You May Know Documentary
This documentary is available on Amazon, and focuses on Cambridge Analytica’s work developing a microtargeting strategy for US churches, with the intent of radicalizing them.
These are the works currently on my radar, and my research will likely expand outward from here.