This book will be the first systematic and comprehensive text to analyze the many and contrasting appearances of the Church of England on television. It covers a range of genres and programs including crime drama, science fiction, comedy, including the specific genre of 'ecclesiastical comedy', zombie horror and non-fiction broadcasting. Readers interested in church and political history, popular culture, television and broadcasting history, and the social history of modern Britain will find this to be a lively and timely book. Programs that year after year sit enshrined as national favourites (for example Dad's Army and Midsomer Murders) foreground the Church. From the Queen's Christmas Message to royal weddings and Coronation Street, the clergy and services of England's national church abound in television. This book offers detailed analysis of landmark examples of small screen output and raises questions relating to the storytelling strategies of program makers, the way the established Church is delineated, and the transformation over decades of congregations into audiences.
Associate Professor Marcus K. Harmes researches in British religious history and popular culture. His recent publications in the field of television studies include Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as the Master (2017) and Doctor Who and the Art of Adaptation (2015). He is co-editor of Postgraduate Education in Higher Education (Springer, 2018).
Meredith A. Harmes teaches communication and works in enabling programs and in legal criminal justice history at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Her research interests include modern British and Australian politics and popular culture in Britain and America. She is co-editor of Postgraduate Education in Higher Education (Springer, 2018).
Dr Barbara Harmes lectures at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Her doctoral research focussed on the discursive controls built around sexuality in late-nineteenth-century England. Her research interests include cultural studies and religion. She has published in areas including modern Australian politics, 1960s American television and Victorian literature.
Introduction.- Chapter One: The church on the screen: a television history.- Chapter Two: 'Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land': broadcasting religion.- Chapter Three: The world in peril: the Church and science fictions.- Chapter Four: Cricket, Steam Engines and a Complete Ignorance of Theology': Downing Street and the comedy of appointment.- Chapter Five: Local community and parish politics.- Chapter Six: 'High Mass Murder': the church, the police and the law.- Chapter Seven: Weddings and Funerals: (Globalised) TV Events of Church and State.- Chapter Eight: Non-Fictional Forms of Religious Programming.