Church on TV: Portrayals of Priests, Pastors and Nuns on by Richard Wolff

By Richard Wolff

Sister Bertrille, Father Dowling, and Reverend Camden - those 3 characters span the background of television's depiction of church leaders, from "The Flying Nun (1967-1970)" to "The Father Dowling Mysteries (1989-1990)" and "7th Heaven (1996-2007)". each one exemplifies one among 3 developments in television's chronicle of the church, from exhibits of the 1960s-70s that target inner conflicts within the church, to these of the Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties that illustrate the church's fight for relevance within the sleek global, and at last these of the Nineties via at the present time that painting the church within the kinfolk context. alongside the way in which, the publication discusses the courses' depiction of varied matters dealing with the church in their instances, together with: the function of ladies within the church; clerics reconsidering their name; the sexuality of clerics; the ecumenical circulate; and the church's reaction to abortion, homosexuality, racial injustice and unlawful immigration. "The Church on television" seems at American broadcast community courses that targeted on a regular basis and mostly on church leaders. It takes a historical-critical method, discussing seventeen courses in-depth and looking out not just at how every one depicted the church and its leaders but additionally evaluating this depiction to genuine church background. What tendencies emerged? Why? How actual used to be the portrayal? What does the depiction say approximately American pop culture and its view of faith in American society? it is those probing questions and solutions that deliver the present study brand new.

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Extra resources for Church on TV: Portrayals of Priests, Pastors and Nuns on American Television Series

Sample text

The hour-long pilot for the television series drew upon many elements of Rios’ novel and, as Going My Way did for its priests, emphasized the contrast between the Reverend Mother Placido and Sister Bertrille — the conflicts between whom would be central to this Catholic-set TV show. It opens with two nuns, Sisters Jacqueline and Sixto, walking to the harbor to greet their new novice, who would serve as the convent’s kindergarten teacher. Before they arrive, strong winds blow Bertrille off a steamboat and into the water.

Occasionally they discuss or prepare sermons, mentioning only that they are doing so, without going into detail on the content. References to the confessional are restricted to explaining why one of the priests is not available for a meeting. While the priests do perform weddings and baptisms, the television audience only sees the joyful participants outside, on the church steps after the events. They deal more with secular problems than spiritual ones. Even when one parishioner considers entering the priesthood, Father O’Malley helps the man realize that his is not a true spiritual calling but a way of running 25.

24. Keyser and Keyser, p. 104. In the Beginning . . Conflict in the Church • 25 more often it is Father Fitzgibbon who attends to money matters. ” In the same episode, Father Fitzgibbon sends O’Malley to recover debts owed to St. Dominic’s and one of its parishioners by a now wealthy businessman, instructing his younger counterpart to get the money for St. 25 Elsewhere, Fitzgibbon meticulously prepares the church’s quarterly financial statement for the diocese, having much difficulty making the statement balance.

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