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Syracuse University Press

Following 9/11: Religion Coverage in the New York Times

Following 9/11: Religion Coverage in the New York Times

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Following 9/11 examines the religious ramifications of 9/11 and its aftershocks through the lens of the New York Times. After the attacks occurred, the Times turned to its standards of journalistic comprehension and its institutional memory regarding religious phenomena to grasp the news with customary tools of coverage. The events made good copy, surely, but also uncovered persistent themes in the treatment of religion in the newspaper.

Day in, day out, the New York Times is one of the most important news sources for understanding the contemporary world. Drawing from the paper's articles, Vecsey compiles an encyclopedic record of religion in our day. Analysis of religion coverage in the Times, focusing on 9/11 and its upshots, shows not only how the paper reported on the tragedy and its consequences, but also how it presented its conventional religious themes--traditions, diversity, tolerance, institutional organization, interfaith cooperation, ethical judgment, etc.--in the crucible of the crisis, perhaps the most galvanizing event concerning contemporary religion.

9/11 was a political as well as a religious event, and it becomes evident--by probing Times coverage--how religion and politics have particularly defined one another since 2001. Vecsey draws attention to the volatile public phrases culture wars and clash of civilizations to perceive the ways in which 9/11 crystallized and recast those concepts, so important in understanding the political dimensions of religion over the past decade. For years after 2001, in stories related to the tragedy, the Times moved beyond political coverage to the social, the cultural, the artistic, the intellectual, and especially the religious. Above all, however, the paper showed how religion, politics, and journalism define each other in these times following 9/11.

Author: Christopher Vecsey
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Published: 07/05/2011
Pages: 492
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.75lbs
Size: 9.27h x 6.26w x 1.25d
ISBN: 9780815609865

Review Citation(s):
Choice 04/01/2012
Reference and Research Bk News 10/01/2011 pg. 193

About the Author
Christopher Vecsey is Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor of the Humanities and Religion at Colgate University. He has written extensively on religion in America and on the culture and religion of Native Americans.

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