Religious Controversies over Christmas

Jennifer Rycenga

in Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780748628087
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653065 | DOI:
Religious Controversies over Christmas

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This chapter illustrates that the tussle between paganism and Christianity is still very much alive. The analytical case study opens out the religious discourses surrounding Christmas and its relationship to contemporary America in a lively discussion of the controversy between the consumer hegemon, Wal-Mart, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. It also reveals how the ‘majoritarian outrage at having their common sense challenged leads to a reinvigoration of a Christian compulsion to dominate’. Christmas in America has now become a stage for both commercial excess and majoritarian Christian identity. All sources agree that the celebration of Christmas was not central to the earliest centuries of Christianity. Christmas gained legitimacy in the post-Constantinian church. The ultimate roots of common sense unite the impulses of the Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution.

Keywords: paganism; Christianity; Christmas; America; Wal-Mart; Bill Donohue; Protestant Reformation; American Revolution

Chapter.  7264 words. 

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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