American Fundamentalism in the New Media: Transmedia Narratives of Baptists, Evangelists, and Methodists

American Fundamentalism in the New Media: Transmedia Narratives of Baptists, Evangelists, and Methodists

Ceren Yegen (Muş Alparslan University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5357-1.ch024
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Evangelists, conservative Protestants, are an important majority in the United States. Baptists and Methodists, alleged to be different groups of American Protestants like Evangelists, perform a number of fundamentalist activities through social media. Related groups use hypertextual, intertextual, and current narrative stratagies in social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Therefore, in this study, Awakening Evangelism (@EvangelismDaily), Baptist News Global (@baptist_news), and WV United Methodist (@WVUMC) who support the groups mentioned in the study (Evangelists, Baptists, and Methodists) and report USA as location's Twitter accounts' shares were examined. Hereby, how the American fundamentalism realized through new media was researched.
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Fundamentalism, invented to describe a movement to stand against liberal theology in the United States, was first used by a group of Christians (American Protestants) in the United States who expressed their commitment to the basic principles of Christian faith. The principles of which the Group had drawn attention were presented in the 12-volume booklet titled The Fundamentals, written between 1910 and 1915. Members of this group had fought to defend the foundations of Christian faith and had characterized themselves as “fundamentalists” (Schirrmacher 2013, p. 9, Albayrak, 2014, Iannaccone, 1990, Mustache, 2007, pp. 83-84).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Twitter: Twitter is a popular social network all over the world. It has developed into new media phenomenon. The platform allows individuals to share ideas, visuals, texts etc. According to some approaches, Twitter is a new public space.

Protestantism: It is one of the three (3) main denominations of Christianity (the others are Catholicism and Orthodoxy) and was born under the leadership of Martin Luther.

Fundamentalism: Fundamentalism, which is often interpreted as having the same meaning as radicalism, specifically refers to religious fundamentalism and return to teachings.

Baptism: Baptists actually share the same basic beliefs with many Protestants. They advocate that only believers should be baptized and baptism must be done by immersion. They are Protestants. The presence of the Baptist began to be seen in Turkey.

Evangelism: It is a concept used for the first Lutherans and refers to conservative Christians. The number of evangelicals is very high.

New Media: It has brought an interactive form to communication process. It allows dialogue with various platforms. It is different from the traditional media as part of its features and structure.

Methodism: It is an ideology developed by John Wesley in Christianity's Protestant sect. Methodists shine out like Evangelists and Baptists.

Radicalism: It refers to an extreme loyalty of an idea. Political and religious use is widespread (religious radicalism, political radicalism). It is alleged that it is not used together with nationalism.

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