Satirists as Public Theologians by Melissa James

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Why satirists have become our public theologians (or why I am doubling down on feminist theological ethics as public theology)…

Did you see the Daily Show last night? I’m sure it was all over your Facebook feed and Twitter. The show just nailed the response to. . .fill in the blank. From Ferguson to pay inequality, from racism to culture wars the satirists have had quite the run lately. From political cartoons to the Onion to late night cable “news” shows, satire plays an important role in society. What satirists are excellent at is holding up a magnifying mirror to our society to show us areas of absurdity, oppression, and hypocrisy. The mix of political commentary and humor allows satirists to push further than many other interlocutors in public discourse.

Part of their success stems from our deep need and longing for collective moral reflection and humor allows us to do so in a way that feels safe enough to engage. What makes good satirists effective is their ability to do deep, critical analysis of society. They use sociology. The better they employ their analysis the better their satire. The better the satire the more they reflect to us what we need to hear. And many satirists have played that role really well. Continue reading “Satirists as Public Theologians by Melissa James”

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