Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, Fried Hemenway Auditorium 135
257 Columbia Avenue, Holland, MI 49423-3692
The Crystal Cathedral stood as an icon of late twentieth- to early twenty-first-century religion in the United States. At one point, with its broad media presence and ambitious architectural design, the church and its “possibility thinking” pastor held the highest profile of any church in America. A careful analysis of the innovation of Robert Schuller, its founding pastor, reveals insights regarding much of what became “normal” in American religion, namely, the megachurch, televangelism, pastor-as-entrepreneur, and the suburbanization of Protestant Christianity. Schuller’s ministry would be interesting in and of itself, but its true significance comes from acknowledging that the style of his leadership was not idiosyncratic, but it became a powerful model adopted by others. This talk will attempt to assess the reverberating legacy of Schuller’s Southern California ministry.