Yale Professor Believes Oprah Winfrey Is a Religious Icon

Oprah Winfrey (AP Photo)

Oprah Winfrey (AP Photo)

Many people joke about Oprah Winfrey’s saintly nature, and the Queen of Talk has indeed used her show as something of a pulpit, preaching the importance of “being your best self.” So it was only a matter of time before a bona fide brainiac conducted a study to prove what we already know: Oprah is a religious icon.

Yale professor Kathryn Lofton writes in her new book, ‘Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon,’ that Winfrey’s message — that you don’t have to be perfect though you should work toward being the best you can be, which she calls “The Gospel of You” — is tantamount to a working religion, according to the New York Post.

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Lofton claims to have studied the transcripts for nearly every episode of Winfrey’s show for the last 12 years — over 1,560 of them — as well as 105 issues of O magazine, 17 issues of O at Home, 68 books from Oprah’s Book Club and 52 Spirit Newsletters.

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She believes that Winfrey utilizes the same rhythmic speech patterns used by southern preachers and employs a sermon-like structure for each show, and that over the years the combination of those things and her message that “your discovery of yourself as the source for change — in yourself and in the world” is effectively a sort of gospel.

“Gospel is a word that means ‘good news,’ ” Lofton says. “Oprah says that the good news is ‘you,'” Lofton told the Post.


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