D. L. Moore / Pneuma 33 (2011) 254-270
framed for us through the preaching moment — has much to do with the ways in which gender is imagined, constructed, and performed.
In addition,this essay considers the potential of the preached word to function as an instru-ment that may, at times, contain prompts that reinforce gender-based violenceand violation. And while physical abuse and sexual violation are imagined asthe most conspicuous forms of gender-based oﬀense, this paper examines the
violence that emerges in and is perpetuated through the mundane prac-tice of religious broadcasting.
Feminist theologian Ivone Gebara argues thatinstitutionalized violence against women “is not just one speciﬁc act of vio-lence but a social arrangement, a cultural construct geared to degrade one poleof humanity and exalt another.”
Tus, gender discourse, through which theinstitutionalized violence and/or social arrangement (of what some might callheteropatriarchy) is framed and maintained, will be examined. Te purpose will be to theorize the extent to which the preached word — and its increasedproliferation via new media means such as Youube — might reproduce orcounteract such violence.In the following, then, thoughts are provided regarding the ways in whichincreased public access to the preached word through traditional (televisualand radio broadcasts) and new media means (such as social marketing web-sites; internet streaming portals; and video sharing sites like Youube) pro-vides both positive and unconstructive opportunities for shaping an audience’sunderstanding of gender. More speciﬁcally, this essay will address how broad-ened public access to traditional and new media, particularly online sites suchas Youube, can be the vehicle through which diverse types of theologicalconcepts are diﬀused. In doing so, this essay will examine the construction of gender through the Youube sermon clips of three well-known evangelists
I am using the term
to refer to characterizations that are constructed and constitutedthrough the process of identiﬁcation or the naming of one’s gender identities (i.e., masculineand/or feminine) and through the ways we perform gender identities. In sum, gender roles, or what we name “masculinity” and “femininity,” are nothing more than indeﬁnite and inventedcategories that are considered ﬁxed and instinctive. Gender orientation, then, is a performance,a caricature at best, of those roles. For some, this concept will appear to be heretical because itchallenges the assumption maintained by many that gender is an innate quality. Instead, we(meaning societal groups) construct the gender roles/rules, characterizations, and scripts, andthis, in turn, informs our own gendered expressions. In fact, preached messages are but oneexample of a type of conduit for this gendering process.
See Vivian Deno’s very useful article for more on the intersections of gender, race, andPentecostalism in the United States. “God, Authority, and the Home: Gender, Race, and U.S.Pentecostals, 1906-1926,”
Journal of Women’s History
16, no. 3 (2004): 83-105.
Out of the Depths