⚖️ New Episode: On the Museum of the Bible with Cavon Concannon & Jill Hicks-Keeton
Powers & Principalities is back for season 2! This season, we address white evangelicalism & media.
Hello and welcome to Powers & Principalities - a show about the systems and institutions of white evangelical influence in America and the world.
Season 1, published in the fall of 2020, was all about white evangelicalism and Christian nationalism.
Season 2 focuses on white evangelicalism & media. This is episode one.
Dating all the way back to at least the 19th century, the various groups we now refer to as White evangelicals have always been early adopters of new media formats. Whether it’s books, radio, tv, film, or any of their digital equivalents like podcasting, youtube, livestreaming, or influencer culture—evangelicals are always at the forefront of using new technology to spread their so-called old time religion. Ultimately, that perennial evangelical impulse is expressed as a desire to tell the Good News, the same good news that, etymologically speaking, is the origin of the term “evangelical” as ‘messenger’ or ‘one who announces’ - and that Good News is found in the Bible.
In order to share that news, it is necessary to share the Bible. And white evangelicals have built many institutions and businesses in order to do just that. The most recent and high-profile of these institutions is The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. And that’s where this season begins.
My guests for this episode are Cavan Concannon and Jill Hicks-Keeton, authors of the new book Does Scripture Speak for Itself?: The Museum of the Bible and the Politics of Interpretation.
Their book takes a critical look at the Museum of the Bible, and the story it is hoping to tell about the Bible. As you’ll hear, it is a very particular perspective on the Bible, and it trying to legitimate that perspective on the national scale. By placing the Museum of the Bible in the long lineage of other evangelical institutions established with similar ends, Concannon and Hicks-Keeton provide a necessary critique of this most recent attempt to prioritize and prefer the evangelical perspective, to the detriment of all others who lay similar claim to Scriptures. I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation.
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I’ve got a few more updates below, so read on!
Check out Season 1 of Powers & Principalities
If you haven’t already listened to season 1, head back in the feed to check out those interviews. That season features conversations with Diana Butler Bass, Katherine Stewart, Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Sam Perry & Andrew Whitehead, Julie Ingersoll, Sarah Posner, Robert Jones, Brad Onishi, Anthea Butler, Jack Jenkins, Jeff Sharlet, Reza Aslan, and Chrissy Stroop [links are to guests with active Substacks].
Each episode addresses Christian nationalism from a different lens.
Podcast Appearance: Chapel Probation
I was this week’s guest on R. Scott Okamoto’s excellent podcast, Chapel Probation! Go have a listen and follow Scott!
Scott also has a Substack:
Introducing Substack Chat
Today Substack rolled out a new feature: subscriber chat. It’s now available for The Post-Evangelical Post.
This is a conversation space in the Substack app that I set up exclusively for my subscribers — kind of like a group chat or live hangout. I’ll post short prompts, thoughts, and updates that come my way, and you can jump into the discussion.
I’ve been doing link-blogging type posts here under the site section Marginalia, but now that Twitter has an uncertain future and Substack has built this function natively - I may move that over to this section.
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