"It Will Change the World If Everybody Reads This Book": New Thought Religion in Oprah's Book Club
Abstract

Scholars seeking to praise Oprah Winfrey's Book Club have lauded it as a triumph of cultural democracy, while those looking to denigrate it have dismissed it as merely a "therapeutic canon." Both visions rely on a repression of the Club's religious dimension. This article argues that Winfrey has for some time used her multimedia empire to purvey a version of American New Thought religion—an idealist, mystical faith in "thought as power." It reads her Club as a particularly focused arena in which Winfrey's New Thought beliefs and practices are performed, and explores the politics of the Club's non-rational ideals of authorship and reading.