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.

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