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The Faithful Citizen
Popular Christian Media and Gendered Civic Identities

By Kristy Maddux

The Faithful Citizen
Paperback, 282 pages $39.95
Published: 15th October 2010
ISBN: 9781602582538
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Cultural Studies, All Political Science, All Rhetoric Studies, Media Studies, Religion & Popular Culture, Rhetoric & Religion

For decades, American popular media have instructed audiences about their roles and significance in the public sphere. In The Faithful Citizen, rhetorical critic Kristy Maddux argues that popular Christian media not only communicate avenues for civic engagement but do so in profoundly gendered terms. Her detailed interrogation of popular Christian movies, books, and television shows—the Left Behind series, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Amazing Grace, 7th Heaven, and the blockbuster The Da Vinci Code—exposes five competing models of how Christians should behave in the civic sphere as their gendered selves. What emerges is a typology that insightfully reveals how these varying faith-based models of engagement uniquely shape public discourse and influence the larger picture of contemporary politics.


1          Christian Media, Gender, and Civic Participation

2          Genteel Masculinity, the Prophetic Posture, and Legislative Politics

Amazing Grace

3          Violence, Divine Sanction, and Submissive Femininity

The Passion of the Christ

4          Brutish Masculinity and the War against Evil

Left Behind

5          Femininity and Secular Salvation in Social Welfare

7th Heaven

6          Biology, Heterosexuality, and the Privatization of Faithfulness

The Da Vinci Code

7          The Limits and Possibilities of Faith-Based Civic Participation




"[Maddux] presents an interesting reading of contemporary culture and offers a methodology for a more careful consideration of the interaction between media and religion."

—Paul A. Soukup, Santa Clara University, Communication Research Trends (32:2)

"Maddux is a clear writer doing bread-and-butter analysis of important works that obviously have had an influence on public life."

—Brian Jackson, Brigham Young University, Rhetoric Review 

“The historical, political, social, and theoretical contexts [Maddux] intertwines throughout each chapter connect material and discursive realities in ways that either capture important debates or speak back to them in important ways. And Maddux cogently depicts how ideas about Christian civic participation, gender, and popular media are woven together to create a story about what kinds of bodies and behaviours make someone a true ‘citizen.’”

—Amanda Rossie, Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

"A sophisticated and provocative rhetorical critique. From careful analyses of The Passion of the Christ to The Da Vinci Code, Maddux builds an impressive case that religious faith, even in the context of media entertainment, necessarily informs politics and civic life. She nimbly navigates the two combustible themes of religion and gender without succumbing to predictable partisanship. Formidable topic. Fascinating critique."

—Susan Schultz Huxman, Director, Elliott School of Communication, Wichita State University

Kristy Maddux is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. Her work has been published by many journals, including Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Feminist Media Studies, and Women’s Studies in CommunicationShe lives in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

For more about Kristy, visit kristymaddux.com

Organization for the Study of Communication, Language & Gender Outstanding Book Award - 2011 - Organization for the Study of Communication, Language & Gender - Winner

Religious Communication Association Book Award - 2011 - Religious Communication Association - Winner

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 282 pages
 9in x 6in

  POL003000, REL105000, SOC032000, SOC052000
 Baylor University Press

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Other books by:
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External Links:
Kristy Maddux || Author Website

Books in Series:
Studies in Rhetoric & Religion
After the Genome - A Language for Our Biotechnological Future

Augustine for the Philosophers - The Rhetor of Hippo, the Confessions, and the Continentals

The Faithful Citizen - Popular Christian Media and Gendered Civic Identities

Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom - The Exodus Narrative in America's Struggle for Civil Rights

Preaching Politics - The Religious Rhetoric of George Whitefield and the Founding of a New Nation

Preaching the Inward Light - Early Quaker Rhetoric

The Rhetoric of Sir Garfield Todd - Christian Imagination and the Dream of an African Democracy

The Rhetoric of St. Augustine of Hippo - De Doctrina Christiana and the Search for a Distinctly Christian Rhetoric

Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965 - Volume 1

Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965 - Volume 2

Rhetorical Darwinism - Religion, Evolution, and the Scientific Identity

Romancing the Difference - Kenneth Burke, Bob Jones University, and the Rhetoric of Religious Fundamentalism

Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley's Methodism - Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe

Stumping God - Reagan, Carter, and the Invention of a Political Faith

The Politics of Sacred Rhetoric - Absolutist Appeals and Political Persuasion

Words Well Spoken - George Kennedy's Rhetoric of the New Testament

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