Networks of Readers, Networks of Meaning

Amy Johnson Frykholm

in Rapture Culture

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780195159837
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835614 | DOI:
 Networks of Readers, Networks of Meaning

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Argues that especially with religious fiction, reading cannot be understood as a private act but must be placed into a social context. Readers engage in reading Left Behind through a series of networks that contribute to the meaning they give the text. This chapter examines two contexts in which the reading of Left Behind occurs: the church “home” and the usually religiously divided family. Within these contexts, readers find that their beliefs and practices are contested by the dissent of other believers, by the disdain of clergy, and by family members who resist the Left Behind series’ call to faith. Readers use the books to build narratives of identity and belonging, but only in divided and complex contexts.

Keywords: Reading; Religious identity; Left Behind; Clergy-laity relations; Social context

Chapter.  12704 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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