Author: Michael Bailey (Leeds Metropolitan University)
What I mean to demonstrate in this essay is the way in which early public service broadcasting developed as an extension of Christian pastoral guidance. Understood thus, early broadcasting can be seen to function as a socio-religious technology whose rationale was to give direction to practical conduct and attempt to hold individuals to it. The significance of this is that Christian utterance was a broadcasting activity to which the BBC, and its first Director-General particularly, John Reith, ascribed special importance. The BBC was determined to provide what it thought was for the moral good of the greater majority. In spite of overwhelming criticism from the listening public and secular public opinion, the BBC was unswerving in its commitment to the centrality of Christianity in the national culture. By the end of the 1930s the ‘Reithian Sunday’ was among the most enduring and controversial of the BBCs inter-war practices.
Keywords: Popular Religion and Entertainment., Ecumenicalism, Sabbatarianism, Secularisation, Nation and Culture, Civilising Mission, Christian Morality, BBC religion, Broadcasting
How to Cite: Bailey, M. (2017) “‘He Who Has Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear’: Christian Pedagogy and Religious Broadcasting During the Inter-War Period”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 4(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.70