DOI link for Public-ity (Introduction)
Public-ity (Introduction) book
The modern popular media are, among other things, media of disclosure, of visualization-of confession. The traditional form of religious confession was a strictly private, personal affair for the sinner, but it was performed in and for a global institution, represented by the shriver. Public confession was much rarer, more ceremonial, and more a matter of political theatre; the confession on the scaffold, the show trial, the use of the body and words of the condemned to teach massed onlookers the truth of certain well-known political tenets. Pre-democratic societies tied public confession to penance, and made that virtually synonymous with punishment, usually capital. Confession, both private and public, is still the province of a global, mediating institution, but it is no longer the church. When both private selves and public society were secularized, confession was disengaged from sin and punishment. The chapter also presents an overview on the key concepts discussed in this book.