“𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔡𝔦𝔤𝔦𝔱𝔞𝔩 𝔣𝔦𝔩𝔢 𝔣𝔲𝔫𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰 𝔞𝔰 𝔞𝔫 𝔞𝔫𝔤𝔢𝔩... 𝔞𝔫 𝔦𝔫𝔳𝔦𝔰𝔦𝔟𝔩𝔢 𝔪𝔢𝔰𝔰𝔢𝔫𝔤𝔢𝔯 𝔱𝔯𝔞𝔫𝔰𝔪𝔦𝔱𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔞 𝔡𝔦𝔳𝔦𝔫𝔢 𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔪𝔞𝔫𝔡.”
In 1960, the FCC ruled that radio stations were eligible to receive “Public Interest Broadcasting” credits from airtime sold to Evangelical broadcasters. This gave radio televangelists the edge they needed over mainline denominations who spent far fewer resources soliciting (tax-exempt) donations for the heavenly mandate of virtual proselytization. Televangelism began to buckle under its own weight with the founding of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) in 1979, the quicksand of sex scandals vacuuming up its charismatic leaders, the market saturation of sacred satellite waves, and the rise of the Moral Majority.
Televangelism today takes advantage of new platforms with 24/7 streaming apps like JESUS LIVE TV founded by David Turner, a packaged foods mogul. Megachurches and local churches alike now offer video sermons to be enjoyed within the privacy of your home. The vanishing of the church as a congregational community space (and all the social services it provides), coupled with the weirdo profit-schemes of Christian theme parks like Heritage USA and The Holy Land Experience suggest a ripe opportunity to retool religious architecture (both material and immaterial) toward new ends.
Model † @alexa.ross
Music † Broken Spear
Quote † Boris Groys, “Religion in the Age of Digital Reproduction”