Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon

By Kathryn Lofton | Go to book overview

bends, and obliterates the line between private practice and public performance and whose aesthetics completely ignore what we have historically conceived as a great divide between what is properly religious and what is not. This is the space between the eighteenth-century itinerant preacher George Whitfield and the twentieth-century incorporation of Coca-Cola; it is the charisma between the formation of churches and the formation of empires. Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon argues that the products of Oprah Winfrey’s empire offer a description of religion in modern society. Within the religious pluralism of contemporary America, Oprah extols what she likes, what she needs, and what she believes. These decisions are not just product plugs but also proposals for a mass spiritual revolution, supplying forms of religious practice that fuse consumer behavior, celebrity ambition, and religious idiom. Through multiple media, Oprah sells us a story about ourselves.

Before we can understand the story she sells, however, the seller must be described. Inverted to Harpo, Oprah is a corporation, an employer of nearly a thousand people, a distributor of an internationally recognized brand.

Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah & Friends, Make the Connection,
Oprah’s Book Club, Use Your Life, Live Your Best Life, Oprah’s Favorite
Things, Wildest Dreams with Oprah, and Oprah Boutique are registered
trademarks of Harpo, Inc. Harpo is a registered trademark of Harpo Pro-
ductions, Inc. The Oprah Store, Oprah.com, Oprah’s Big Give, The Big Give,
Give Big or Go Home, Expert Minutes, the “Oprah” signature and the “O”
design are trademarks of Harpo, Inc. Oprah’s Angel Network®, Angel Net-
work, O Ambassadors, and the corresponding “O” design are trademarks of
Oprah’s Angel Network. Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls is a
trademark of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. O, The
Oprah Magazine
and O at Home are registered trademarks of Harpo Print,
LLC. All Rights Reserved.2

These titles and imprints are not just trademarks. They are cultures of expression, a supply chain of self unmatched in the history of industry, celebrity, or charismatic authority. The kernel was a studio of televised rhetoric: The Oprah Winfrey Show. Not an object you could hold in your hands, but a process of conversation, a didactic community.3 This is what started it all, spiraling quickly into brand compulsion: The Oprah Winfrey Show entered national syndication in 1986, becoming the highest-rated talk show in television history. In 1988, Oprah established Harpo Studios, a production facility in Chicago. Produced by her production company, Harpo Productions, Inc., the show, as of 2009,

-2-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 289

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.