T.D. Jakes by Shayne Lee
America's New Preacher

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T.D. Jakes has emerged as one of the most prolific spiritual leaders of our time. He is pastor of one of the largest churches in the country, CEO of a multimillion dollar empire, the host of a television program, author of a dozen bestsellers, and the producer of two Grammy Award nominated CDs and three critically acclaimed plays. In 2001 Time magazine featured Jakes on the cover and asked: Is Jakes the next Billy Graham T.D. Jakes  draws on extensive research, including interviews with numerous friends and colleagues of Jakes, to examine both Jakes 8217;s rise to prominence and proliferation of a faith industry bent on producing spiritual commodities for mass consumption. Lee frames Jakes and his success as a metaphor for changes in the Black Church and American Protestantism more broadly, looking at the ramifications of his rise 8212;and the rise of similar preachers 8212;for the way in which religion is practiced in this country, how social issues are confronted or ignored, and what is distinctly 8220;American 8221; about Jakes's emergence. While offering elements of biography, the work also seeks to shed light on important aspects of the contemporary American and African American religious experience.Lee contends that Jakes 8217;s widespread success symbolizes a religious realignment in which mainline churches nationwide are in decline, while innovative churches are experiencing phenomenal growth. He emphasizes the 8220;American-ness 8221; of Jakes 8217;s story and reveals how preachers like Jakes are drawing followers by delivering therapeutic and transformative messages and providing spiritual commodities that are more in tune with postmodern sensibilities.As the first work to critically examine Bishop Jakes 8217;s life and message, T.D. Jakes  is an important contribution to contemporary American religion as well as popular culture.


About Shayne Lee

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Shayne Lee is Assistant Professor of Sociology and African Diaspora Studies at Tulane University.
Published October 1, 2005 by NYU Press reference. 201 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Jakes ""is the signpost for postdenominational Protestant America"" for his ""uncanny ability to blend the spiritual with the secular,"" Tulane University sociologist Lee offers an intriguing exploration of Jakes's popularity.

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