The church of celebrity
Guest host Alissa Wilkinson talks with Katelyn Beaty, author of the new book Celebrities for Jesus, about how the dynamics of fame, influence, and new media are changing our experience of religious faith. They discuss how celebrities like Billy Graham set the tone for a lionization of celebrity in the Evangelical Church, why faith leaders cultivate distance from their congregations and build influencer-style social media presences, and share their thoughts on the future of the Church in our perhaps increasingly celebrity-obsessed culture.
Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), senior culture writer, Vox
Guest: Katelyn Beaty (@KatelynBeaty), author
Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church by Katelyn Beaty (Brazos; 2022)
"Inside Hillsong, the Church of Choice for Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant" by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (GQ; Dec. 17, 2015)
"After Columbine, martyrdom became a powerful fantasy for Christian teenagers" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; Apr. 17, 2019)
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This episode was made by:
Producer: Erikk Geannikis
Editor: Amy Drozdowska
Engineer: Patrick Boyd
Senior Producer: Katelyn Bogucki
Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall
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