Clash of the Oprah-ites | Bleader

Monday, August 4, 2008

Clash of the Oprah-ites

Posted By on 08.04.08 at 01:03 PM

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In an essay for the Martin Marty Center, U. of C. doctoral candidate Aaron Curtis notes the similarity between a certain blog project and a recent trend in religion. Rupa Shenoy's Reader story about "Lo," the woman spending a year doing everything Oprah tells her to and blogging while she goes, prompted Curtis's meditation on DIY spirituality -- and on the hostility Lo has provoked from some of Oprah's devotees.

Here we have a perfect articulation of a prevalent form of modern spirituality that some, especially in orthodox and evangelical circles, have labeled 'flexodoxy' -- what theologian and scholar N.T. Wright describes as 'free-for-all, do-it-yourself spirituality.'

And ironically,

With Lo's experiment the culture of flexodoxy [asserts] its own orthodoxy. . . . Those aspects of Lo's project that do resemble more traditional religious practices are precisely the ones that are most threatening to this particular "faith community."

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