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Rapture CultureLeft Behind in Evangelical America$
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Amy Johnson Frykholm

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195159837.001.0001

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Networks of Readers, Networks of Meaning

Networks of Readers, Networks of Meaning

(p.39) 2 Networks of Readers, Networks of Meaning
Rapture Culture

Amy Johnson Frykholm

Oxford University Press

Argues that especially with religious fiction, reading cannot be understood as a private act but must be placed into a social context. Readers engage in reading Left Behind through a series of networks that contribute to the meaning they give the text. This chapter examines two contexts in which the reading of Left Behind occurs: the church “home” and the usually religiously divided family. Within these contexts, readers find that their beliefs and practices are contested by the dissent of other believers, by the disdain of clergy, and by family members who resist the Left Behind series’ call to faith. Readers use the books to build narratives of identity and belonging, but only in divided and complex contexts.

Keywords:   Reading, Religious identity, Left Behind, Clergy-laity relations, Social context

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