From Jesus to the Internet examines Christianity as a mediated phenomenon, paying particular attention to how various forms of media have influenced and developed the Christian tradition over the centuries. It is the first systematic survey of this topic and the author provides those studying or interested in the intersection of religion and media with a lively and engaging chronological narrative. With insights into some of Christianity's most hotly debated contemporary issues, this book provides a much-needed historical basis for this interdisciplinary field.
Country of Publication:
22 May 2015
Professional and scholarly
Acknowledgements xi Introduction 1 What's this book about? 1 What do we mean by Christianity? 2 What do we mean by media? 4 Media and the historical development of Christianity 7 1 In the Beginning 10 The social and media context 11 Jesus in his media context 14 Remaking Jesus in speech and performance 22 2 Making Jesus Gentile 28 Context: the media world of the Roman Empire 28 Early Christian writing 30 Paul and letter writing 32 The end of the beginning 39 3 The Gentile Christian Communities 42 The appeal of Christianity 42 Multimedia communities 43 Christian writings 45 The reception and circulation of Christian writings 56 Resistance to writing 58 4 Men of Letters and Creation of The Church 62 The Catholic ]Orthodox brand 63 Tertullian 68 Cyprian 70 Origen - the media magnate of Alexandria 72 Writing out women 74 5 Christianity and Empire 80 Imperial patronage and imperial Christianity 80 Councils, creeds, and canons 84 Constructing time - Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History 90 The scriptures as text and artifact 93 6 The Latin Translation 99 Latin roots 99 After the fall 106 Monasteries and manuscripts 110 Written Latin and the consolidation of medieval Christendom 117 7 Christianity in the East 125 The Church of the East 125 Islam 130 Writing the voice 132 Regulating the eyes 134 8 Senses of the Middle Ages 141 The medieval context 142 Making time 143 Seeing space 145 Rituals and hearing 150 Nice touch: relics, saints, and pilgrimage 154 9 The New Millennium 162 Marketing the Crusades 163 Scholasticism and universities 168 Cathedrals 173 Catholic reform 175 The Inquisition 180 10 Reformation 187 Printing and its precursors 187 Martin Luther 191 John Calvin 195 Reworking the Bible 198 The changing sensory landscape 200 Catholic responses 207 Ignatius of Loyola 209 11 The Modern World 214 The legacy of the Reformation 214 Catholic mission 216 The impact of print 219 Evangelical Revivalism 223 Protestant mission 232 12 Electrifying Sight and Sound 237 The technologies of the audiovisual 237 Christianity and the twentieth ]century media world 240 Mainline mediation 242 The Evangelical Coalition 246 Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism 254 13 The Digital Era 261 The empire of digital capitalism 261 Digital practice 264 Global Pentecostalism 270 Media and Christian sexual abuse 276 Tradition and change 279 Conclusion 285 References 293 Index 311
Peter Horsfield is Professor of Communication at RMIT University, Australia. From 1987-1996, he was Dean of the Uniting Church Theological Hall and Lecturer in Applied Theology in the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne, Australia. His early study, Religious Television: The American Experience (2004) was influential in assessing the impact of the emerging phenomenon of televangelism in the U.S. From 1997-2005 he was a member of the International Study Commission on Media Religion and Culture. He has researched and published extensively in the area of the interaction of media and religion, with a particular focus on Christianity. He is the co-editor of several books, including Emerging Research in Media, Religion and Culture (2005) and Belief in Media: Cultural Perspectives on Media and Christianity (2004).
Reviews for From Jesus to the Internet: A History of Christianity and Media
This is a book I've wanted to read for a long time, and I find it both enlightening and thought provoking in a positive sense. The book represents a way of writing the history of Christianity in a rather novel multi-perspective and contextualized manner. Technology, politics, economics, demographics, and scientific discoveries all play a role in how religion is transformed - but at the center of this transformation, according to Horsfield, is media. (Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, 1 November 2015) Tracing the implications of the adoption of new media technologies into Christian modes of communication among believers and with the divine over a period of 2000 years, Peter Horsfield draws a fascinating and fresh picture of contestations, breaks and reformations in the dynamic history of Christianity. This well-written, imaginative book does not only throw recent work on modern mass media and Christianity into historical relief, it also makes a convincing case for the fruitfulness of a media perspective to capture salient transition points that rearticulate the Christian tradition and reset its role and place in society. Birgit Meyer, Utrecht University This ambitious, resourceful, and clearly written book makes the major contribution of showing how fundamentally integrated religion and media always have been throughout the history of Christianity. The power of mediaÂ from writing to print, from imagery, music and architecture to radio, film, and televisionÂ has been to make accessible what Christians experience in their faith. Horsfield properly locates the study of media at the heart of the study of the religion. David Morgan, Duke University