Project Title: "The Chick Mythos and False Consciousness: A Study of Conspiracy Theory."
The “Chick Tracts” of Jack Chick are comic strip books that have been used for decades as evangelizing tools by the Christian Right. These tracts are often either placed in public areas or distributed by hand. Chick Tracts provide an interesting window into the world of Christian Fundamentalism and Evangelism. This is not because they necessarily represent the beliefs of the majority of the Christian Right, but because they remain a preferred conversion tool. By examining these texts over time, we will be able to understand how messages have changed to appeal to broader audiences. Furthermore, these tracts rely heavily on conspiracy theory. For this reason, I will be specifically addressing them in my Upcoming Sociology of Conspiracy Theory Class.
Also present are a smaller (yet significant) number of more radical conspiracy driven messages. For example, an overarching theme of several tracts asserts that the Vatican had a significant role in creating Islam as part of a centuries long (and ongoing) plot to usher in the Antichrist.
Project Title: "Messaging Choices and the Christian Right: A Study of Chick Tracts"
Considering that the tracts are generated and distributed by self-proclaimed Christian Fundamentalists, many of their themes are very predictable. Such themes include the damnation of non-Christians, Christ being the only way to salvation, and a variety of highly conservative stances on social issues (homosexuality, abortion, etc.) Of greater interest are the reference frames used to convey those messages. For example, positive messages emphasizing divine love and redemption are just as theologically sound in the Christian cultural tool kit. However, preliminary research indicates a predominance of negative messages which focus on threats of damnation.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org