We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Faithful Citizen

Popular Christian Media and Gendered Civic Identities

Kristy Maddux

Publication Year: 2010

For decades, American popular media have instructed audiences about their roles and significance in the public sphere. In The Faithful Citizen, rhetorical critic Kristy Maddux argues that popular Christian media not only communicate avenues for civic engagement but do so in profoundly gendered terms. Her detailed interrogation of popular Christian movies, books, and television shows—the Left Behind series, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Amazing Grace, 7th Heaven, and the blockbuster The Da Vinci Code—exposes five competing models of how Christians should behave in the civic sphere as their gendered selves. What emerges is a typology that insightfully reveals how these varying faith-based models of engagement uniquely shape public discourse and influence the larger picture of contemporary politics.

Published by: Baylor University Press


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
p. xvii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-xiv

My maternal grandmother, who tried to teach me manners, would surely be scandalized to know that I have written a book about religion, politics, and gender. Raised the daughter of Danish immigrants in Lincoln, Nebraska, my grandmother learned to put aside such controversial topics so that she could blend into the community, and she encouraged me to do the same. ...

read more

1 Christian Media, Gender, and Civic Participation

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-28

If you listened to one set of doomsayers at the close of the twentieth century, it seemed that the once-robust American tradition of civic participation had atrophied. Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” thesis sounded the alarm: Americans had ceased to volunteer, support charities, and join community organizations—at least at levels rivaling previous generations.1 ...

read more

2 Genteel Masculinity, the Prophetic Posture, and Legislative Politics

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 29-56

Following the 2004 election, journalistic narratives made religious influence in electoral politics seem simple: Christian beliefs translate naturally into political platforms that translate naturally into electoral votes. The remarkable backlash that greeted the “values voters” and their evangelical leaders ...

read more

3 Violence, Suffering, and Feminine Submission

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 57-85

In April 2004, Time magazine’s Holy Week cover story posed the question that Christians have disputed for centuries: “Why did Jesus die?” Ever an appropriate question in the days approaching Easter, it was especially salient that spring amidst The Passion of the Christ’s blockbuster cinematic run. ...

read more

4 Brutish Masculinity and the War on Evil

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 87-119

As the year 2000 approached, Americans succumbed to millennial fever. Whether the new millennium would technically dawn at the advent of 2000 or 2001, Americans could not deny that they were possibly facing the end of civilization or the beginning of a new era in human history. The Y2K computer glitch was just one popular framework ...

read more

5 Feminine Charity, Secular Salvation, and Social Reform

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 121-153

It is surely no more than coincidence that the television family drama 7th Heaven premiered in 1996, the same year that the U.S. Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Yet this coincidence is remarkable. Dismantling the federal welfare bureaucracy and making it harder for families to acquire welfare benefits ...

read more

6 Biology, Heterosexuality, and the Privatization of Faithfulness

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 155-179

In their varied ways, Amazing Grace, The Passion of the Christ, Left Behind, and 7th Heaven all depict faithful Christians engaged in the public lives of their communities. These Christians participate in a democratic legislative process, they gather in the public square to witness the public execution of a perceived criminal, they mobilize a global army, and they contribute ...

read more

7 The Limits and Possibilities of Faith-Based Civic Participation

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 181-204

The Christian-themed media texts popular at the turn of the twenty-first century—not only Left Behind, 7th Heaven, The Passion of the Christ, The Da Vinci Code, and Amazing Grace, but also the dozens of other books, films, and television shows produced in that time period—earned their places in the national consciousness because ...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 205-245


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 247-261


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 263-271

E-ISBN-13: 9781602584884
E-ISBN-10: 1602584885
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582538
Print-ISBN-10: 160258253X

Page Count: 282
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 794698785
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Faithful Citizen

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Mass media in religion.
  • Mass media -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
  • Christians -- Political activity.
  • Citizenship -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
  • Sex role -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access