Nothing Sacred: Ignatian principles of heroic leadership in entertainment media

  • Author(s): John Levesque
  • When: 2012-12
  • Where: Source
  • The series Nothing Sacred lasted less than one full season on broadcast network television. Critically acclaimed for its writing but also vigorously opposed for having an antiCatholic agenda, it embraced a set of values consistent with Ignatian leadership philosophy. Scholars paid little attention to the show after its cancellation in 1998, but an examination of several episodes and the writing of its co-creator, a Jesuit priest, suggests that the series propagated the principles of Ignatian leadership in much the same way as Lowney (2003), who proposed that the 16thcentury philosophy of leadership espoused by Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, can be applied in any organizational setting. Under the construct of rhetorical criticism, an ideological analysis of episodes in the series reveals a remarkable kinship with Lowney's four pillars of Ignatian leadership, as well as evidence of McCombs and Shaw's (1972) theory of agenda setting in an entertainment medium.

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