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After the Thrill is Gone: Married to the Holy Spirit but Still Sleeping Alone

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This article focuses on the culture industry around singles and sexuality within black religious broadcasting. Many Pentecostal preachers’ messages on sexuality respond to the great angst many black women feel concerning the prospect of marriage. Several studies conclude that, for a myriad of reasons, black women are the least likely to marry. This has led many televangelists to create a niche by encouraging black women to focus on career advancement and personal care. Yet, traditional notions of sexuality, which include abstinence before marriage and the repression of sexual pleasure, endure. This article explores the tension generated by televangelists who promote transgressing the social order that calls for marriage as an ultimate goal while they simultaneous offer a relationship with the sacred as a panacea for sexual desire. It asks what the implications are for black women, theologically and socially, when the Holy Spirit is offered as a spiritual replacement for physical relationships.

Affiliations: 1: Western Kentucky University 1906 College Heights Blvd 31086, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Email:


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