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Sensational Devotion: Evangelical Performance in Twenty-First-Century AmericaJill Stevenson 2013
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Sensational Devotion examines contemporary Passion plays, biblical theme parks, Holy Land recreations, creationist museums, and megachurches in order to understand how they serve their evangelical believer-users while also shaping larger cultural and national dialogues. Jill Stevenson explores how performative media support specific theologies and core beliefs by creating sensual, live experiences for those who use them. The book explores evangelical performance across a range of media and sites, including film, television, theater, tourist attractions, museums, and places of worship. Using historical research coupled with firsthand experiences, it critically examines these spaces and events within their specific religious, cultural, and national contexts, while placing them within a long devotional tradition to suggest how they cultivate religious belief by generating vivid, sensual, affectively oriented, and individualized experiences. Stevenson's analysis builds upon existing work on performance and cognition, as well as theories of affect, as it contributes to existing scholarship on American evangelicalism and evangelical Christian media.
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