Powers & Principalities is 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 wait for you to hear this conversation.
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Powers & Principalities is a production of The Post-Evangelical Post, LLC. This episode was produced by Podcat Audio. Theme music by Jacob Lewis.
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