10.17.2011

Book Review: Where Has Oprah Taken Us?

     

The reason I chose to read this book, by author Stephen Mansfield, can be summed up rather nicely in the subtitle of the book itself, "The Religious Influence of the World's Most Famous Woman". I am fascinated by how people (famous or not) come to their conclusions regarding  things of  a spiritual nature. I am especially interested in people who influence millions for or against the cause of Christianity and how they came to hold fast their own conclusions and beliefs. The fact that this book is about Oprah Winfrey, is secondary to me as I am not a fan. However I am hard pressed to ignore the impact and influence she wields over many as she opens her stage to the various "teachers" of the day.

Mr. Mansfield has, however won me over to his writing, in this excellent pilgrimage through the life and times of Oprah Winfrey, from her childhood on through her current spiritual stand, he sensitively and thoroughly searches the heart, mind and soul of this modern day mystic. He writes with the pen of a journalist, and the heart of a truth seeker. He writes systematically and seeks to be both objective and yet honest in his presentation. He has interviewed Oprah's family, friends and colleagues as well as those she considers her closest spiritual confidantes.This includes those teachers she has sought to set on pedestals of gold, or at least allow the famous midas touch of being associated with Oprah. This touch sends millions flocking to the bookstores and outlets and secures financial "blessing" and security for those who receive Oprah's kiss of approval.

If you are a Christian who loves everything Oprah, you need to read and examine the philosophy she truly embraces. I encourage you to read this book, as it shows the tumultuous rise of a faith based young girl to the self-made, deity she believes herself to be today. She has taken herself far from her early roots, and she continues to take many along with her, where she is going is the question and answer to be addressed in this excellent read. Personally, I think swimming in Oprah's spiritual waters can be likened to swimming with seals in the shark filled waters of False Bay, South Africa, where Air Jaws is filmed. Deadly if you are in the water, potentially dangerous from the boat, yet fascinating to watch from a safe distance.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze!

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Information: An evocative exploration of Oprah Winfrey’s religious beliefs, from her rejection of her Baptist upbringing to her controversial rise as “an icon of church-free spirituality.”

Born into poverty in Mississippi in 1954 and rising through talent, hard work and despite tragedy—she was raped at the age of nine and lost an infant son at 14—Oprah Winfrey has become one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and most popular women of her age. These facts alone would make Winfrey worthy of study, yet what makes her of even more profound impact on American society is her decision to champion the cause of “New Age Christianity.” She is, as Christianity Today has proclaimed, “a postmodern priestess—an icon of church-free spirituality.” Rejecting her Baptist roots, Winfrey has become a champion of the Course in Miracles, a seminar in which Christianity is reinterpreted in terms of self-actualization, personal divinity, and self-empowerment. She has also become a disciple of Eckhart Tolle, the increasingly popular teacher of a form of spirituality that blends Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Christianity.

Author Stephen Mansfield explores the Winfrey spiritual phenomenon—much as Mansfield has with figures like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, and Winston Churchill.

8 comments:

  1. Excellent review!!! I, too, am no fan of Oprah and have no desire to drink her Kool-Aid, but the book sounds like something I'd like to read. I like getting inside someone head and walking around to find out what makes them tick.

    I'll have to get this book.

    Thanks, Dawn!

    Pam

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  2. That sounds really interesting. Sounds like he's profiled other fascinating people as well. Thanks for the review. It was a good one--just enough information to make me curious about the rest of the book!

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  3. Dawn:
    Thank you for this insightful review. I learned some things that help me better understand who she is.

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  4. Great review! I have often wondered why people are so fascinated with her, especially when she starts talking about her God is love religion. Seems like an interesting book.

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  5. The truly ironic thing about Oprah and her "philosophy" is that oftentimes you find people complaining that Christians get their "faith" from their parents and because it's passed through the family it is not legitimate... And yet those same people blindly believe the philosophy of Oprah (and famous people like her)

    Ben Cabe

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  6. This is a great review! I love your writing :) I totally agree about Oprah, I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way!
    As the saying goes, "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything".

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  7. I did notice many years ago that Oprah never mentions doctrine or religion, just being spiritual. What I look at is where and to whom she puts her convictions. Her new TV network makes me sick. I look forward to reading Stephen Mansfield's' book after your insightful review.

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  8. Very witty about the sharks, etc. lol.

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walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)