'Overcoming' the 'Battlefield of the Mind'
A Psycho-Linguistic Examination of the Discourse of Digital-Televangelists Self-Help Texts
This article offers a psychoanalytically informed discursive analysis of the teachings of two leading Christian digital evangelists in the field of Christian ‘Self-help’ texts: Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen. Meyer and Osteen both have global popularity and multimedia presences. Influenced by psychosocial theory, we combine linguistic analysis with the ideas of Kleinian and post-Kleinian object relations. Exploring Meyer’s and Osteen’s media usage, we argue that digital and online tools have enhanced their connective ability with their immense audiences. It is argued that such discursive spaces create new psychosocial possibilities and contradictions for their messages of emotional health and self-governance through a combination of scripture and psychological approaches common in secular self-help communication. Both preachers focus on changing ‘language’ and ‘thought’, employing techniques and scripture that require the believer to excessively self-focus, and this process revolves emotionally around the construction of images of an omnipotent, good God and the mind as a spiritual battleground between ‘good’ objects (God) and ‘bad’ (Satan).
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