Whether you see “the secular” as a threat or a refuge, an option or an impulse, we are all trying to survive it, and one could argue that religious folks are trying to survive the secular far more ardently than secular folks are trying to survive the religious (at least in the United States). Of course, most of us fall somewhere in between—looking for and cobbling together meaning in and around the edges of religious and secular schools of thought and belief. Yet, for all of the boundary marking and making, secular and religious are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually constitutive.
And that’s where Lofton (along with an audience of millions) finds Oprah: at the intersection of religious and secular, in between spiritual and material, personal and communal, ritual and improvisational. And it is a brilliant discovery.