The rise of the fundamental religious broadcasters in the United States has triggered an intense popular interest in mediated Christianity and prompted the traditional churches to reexamine their own policies toward mass communication. The ensuing dramatic increase in the number of studies on the subject has prompted a corresponding need for a comprehensive index of valuable materials. Christian Communication is the first wide-ranging annotated bibliography of available books, articles, theses, and dissertations in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian that deals with all forms and aspects of Christian communication, even comic books and the computer. The bibliographies for this collection were drawn from several sources including the Library of Congress; several important computerized databases; manual searches of such institutions as the Billy Graham Center and the Graduate Theological Union, among others; and references in dissertations. Most importantly, only accessible items which could be checked and reviewed by Soukup and his research staff have been included here.
The volume is arranged to maximize ease of access and use and is based on the general academic division of communication studies. The first chapter contains an introduction, cross-referenced to the bibliographies, that reviews the history of church communication, the major issues that characterize it, and suggests possibilities for future study. Next, a resource chapter lists periodicals which address specific areas of religious communication or frequently published articles of interest; cites bibliographic guides to the material and surveys directories of both personnel working in the field of Christian communication and of catalogs of relevant materials. The following seven chapters contain the major bibliographical sections that review communication theory, history, rhetoric, interpersonal communication, mass communication, intercultural communication, and other media. The volume closes with helpful name, title, and subject indexes that make this guide thoroughly user-friendly and an important research tool for church communicators, theological students, and communications scholars working in philosophical or qualitative areas.