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Religious Reality TV: voyeurism or interest?

Religious Reality TV: voyeurism or interest?

Apparently Lifetime Television is airing a program focusing on a group of young women contemplating becoming nuns, titled “The Sisterhood, becoming Nuns.”  The show features young women who will visit a series of religious communities as they work out whether or not they are called to a religious vocation.

Setting aside the question of whether one can discern such a call in only six weeks under such scrutiny, women religious are already using the show as an opportunity to highlight their vocations.

From HuffPost

Social media savvy sisters have been doggedly following — and even live-tweeting — the show. They’ve been paying close attention to any potential misrepresentations, while remaining excited that the topic of religious vocation is getting national attention.

Included in the show are The Carmelite Sisters For The Aged And Infirm, whose Mother Superior was reluctant at first to participate.

Mother Mark Louis Anne Randall, the congregation’s Superior General, said she was hesitant at first about letting cameras into the sisters’ peaceful Germantown, New York home. But she was certain the integrity of the sisters could withstand that kind of scrutiny. Plus, she saw this as a unique opportunity to dispel stereotypes about religious life.

“We’re not the flying nun,” she told HuffPost with a chuckle, “We’re genuine people.”

The show is seemingly tapping into an audience interested in viewing religious lives and choices, the underlying question is why?  Is it merely voyeurism or is there a degree of genuine curiosity?


posted by Jon White


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JC Fisher

I assume that every woman, every order, will be Roman Catholic? Me no likey the religious exclusivism. (Voyeurism? Meh, that I can live with. Assuming they’re young women, they’re totally used to a voyeuristic media culture, and their vocation would have to be discerned in that context!)

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