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Where Has Oprah Taken Us?: The Religious Influence of the World's Most Famous Woman

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
An evocative exploration of Oprah Winfrey's religious beliefs, from her rejection of her Baptist upbringing to her controversial rise as an icon of church-free spirituality. She is, as Christianity Today has proclaimed, a postmodern priestess--an icon of church-free spirituality.
Hardcover, Large Print, 419 pages
Published January 4th 2012 by Thorndike Press (first published October 11th 2011)
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Jan 02, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to reading this book because I watched a lot of Oprah growing up. I used to come home from school and turn on the show and hope that no one would interrupt me for the next hour. I felt like Oprah had some very worthwhile shows, and that I could learn from some of the guests she featured and the issues she highlighted. I never cared for the make-over shows, or the ones about cute dogs doing tricks, but for the most part, those seemed few and far between.

In more recent years,
Kathryn Bashaar
Nov 11, 2011 Kathryn Bashaar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm an Oprah fan. I've never seen any of her TV programs, because I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I love her magazine. I like her message of empowerment, self-esteem, personal development and giving back. But, like the author of this book, I have always had misgivings about some of the flaky spirituality that she promotes. This well-written, well-reasoned book explains, deconstructs and debunks the beliefs behind the Oprah version of spirituality. There are good reasons for misgivings, especia ...more
Jim Gilbert
Not Mansfield's most gripping work, but a thorough exposé of the danger Oprah represents to America's soul. She has essentially replaced Billy Graham as America's "pastor," and that is not at all a good thing.
Aug 07, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Mar 30, 2015 Karin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This author has an agenda and it's clear from the beginning. This book is dripping with his opinion. Sad.
Robert Gilbert
Feb 21, 2016 Robert Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christian, Athiest, New Age
What is great about this book is that it is not just about Oprah. It is a serious inquiry into the changing trends of best-selling, pop-culture theology. I’ve been trying to warn my Christian peers about this trend for quite some time now, and it was a wonderful relief to finally find a book that points out much of the same viewpoint that I’ve had all these years. Oprah is just one of many public figures who have “flushed” their viewers down the same New-Age pipeline with their silly spiritual t ...more
Wendy Alton
Sep 24, 2011 Wendy Alton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by this book, which is why I chose to read it. While Oprah has easily become a household word (and presence), I have never spent much time watching her. But one cannot deny her influence. She merely mentions a book on her show and it becomes a best-seller. Millions of people listen carefully to everything she has to say.

Once I opened the book to read it, I became even more intrigued. There was so much about Oprah I did not know. I was not aware of the fact that she had rejected h
** I received this book free from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review.**

This book, the author claims, is an attempt to “understand and evaluate a recent brand of spirituality from the perspective of a more traditional, historic faith” (xxii). He does this, in the end section of the book, after first giving readers a biographical background of Oprah and giving us a look into those who have influenced her beliefs.

As someone who, like Oprah, believes that there is mo
May 31, 2012 Lainy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Time taken to read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads
An evocative exploration of Oprah Winfrey's religious beliefs, from her rejection of her Baptist upbringing to her controversial rise as "an icon of church-free spirituality."

Born into poverty in Mississippi in 1954 and rising through talent, hard work and despite tragedy-she was raped at the age of nine and lost an infant son at 14-Oprah Winfrey has become one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and most popular women of her age. These facts alone wo
Sep 27, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Where has Oprah Taken Us? review

October 4, 2011 by sjbraun | Edit

where has oprah taken us book mansfield

I feel like I’ve pretty much grown up with Oprah. She’s ten years older than I am, and from my college years on her show always seemed to be around. I wasn’t a rabid fan, but I watched it enough to feel comfortable with Oprah. I’ve cringed at some of her tawdry topics, laughed at some of her down-home, girl-next-door moments, and rais
Oct 15, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this biographical commentary Where Has Oprah Taken Us?, Stephen Mansfield answers a question that many have been unwilling or unable to ask. Oprah Winfrey has for the last twenty or so years been a dominating force in the world of entertainment and in the last ten years or so has taken on a much more iconic role in American culture, as she is venerated by millions of followers. Mansfield rightly asks the question of how Oprah has used this staggering influence to shape those who hold her dear ...more
Linda Walters
Jan 08, 2013 Linda Walters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Oprah’s life, the good, the bad and the ugly. Beginning with the truths of her birth, chaotic upbringing and also a look into the many blessings that she has had that aren’t often mentioned by her. The story also takes the reader through all the things that were at work in the United States culture and religion as she was growing up . Once she was a professed believer in Jesus Christ and then you begin to see some of the things that shaped her turn to making her own “religio ...more
Suzanne Benner
Feb 15, 2013 Suzanne Benner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Whether or not an Oprah junkie, no one can deny the impact she’s had on our society. In his book, Where Has Oprah Taken Us? Stephen Mansfield (Mansfield, Stephen. Where Has Oprah Taken Us? Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2011) zeroes in on Oprah’s religious influence. In the midst of biography, he provides a succinct overview of world religions and shows how today’s New Age thinking relies heavily on Hinduism.

Oprah’s own views seem to have morphed over the years as she alternately shocked and soothed
Khristine Doiron
Oct 25, 2011 Khristine Doiron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oprah has many different ideas about religion and this book looks into all of them, where she started out as a baptist to now where she seems to have a little of every religion in her belief system, and how she came across all the people who have shaped her beliefs.

I did not enjoy this book. The title should have been "Oprah's beliefs and how I think they are all a Farce!" When I picked this book up I thought I was going to be reading a book about how Oprah has brought religion back into the liv
Oct 11, 2012 Cortana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where Has Oprah Taken Us? is another explosive, engaging and probing book from the pen of Stephen Mansfield who has authored several other biographical books. For someone who has been a huge fan of Oprah Winfrey, I read the book brimming with enthusiasm. And I must confess that by the end of the book much of my enthusiasm evaporated. And it has nothing to do with the author or the manner of his treatment of the subject.

Many of us adored, watched and followed Oprah on her shows but no one probed
Cyndi Beane-Henry
Mansfield explores the national phenomena known as Oprah Winfrey in this book.

Having once been a close television follower of the icon, and later disillusioned by her, I really wanted to see how a Christian writer would interpret her.

I am pleased to see that we share many of the same views.

Mansfield writes: "And so we have examined four pillars of Oprah Winfrey's religious worldview and seven principles of her philosophy and I have disagreed with all of them. I can do no other. I am, as I admitt
Loyal Oprah followers will not enjoy this book.

I am neither a fan nor a follower of Oprah, but reviewed this book because I was curious as to how she has obtained so much power and sway over the general public. The book is easy to read and mildly interesting; there's a lot of background on Oprah's childhood and rise to fame. Prior to reading this book, I hadn't given much thought to just how far Oprah has strayed from her spiritual roots.

Nor did I think too much about how much New Age beliefs
Mar 13, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book by Stephen Mansfield who has authored several books gives us an insight to much of Oprah’s life from early childhood. We can admire her determination to step outside of the confines of circumstances that could have sent her down a road of self destruction at a very early age. As a woman of influence she has impacted on the way millions of women around the world see themselves and their view of the world.

The main focus of the book takes a look at her spiritual walk and her association
Paul Lunger
Stephen Mansfield's "Where Has Oprah Taken Us? The Religious Influence of the World's Most Famous Woman" is a rather feeble attempt at a biography of Oprah Winfrey that ties in her religious viewpoints along the way. Mansfield for the most part does an all right job describing Winfrey's early life along with her struggles to get into broadcasting from her successes in Nashville to a disaster in Baltimore to her rising star in Chicago that put her on the national stage. The problem with this book ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Renee rated it it was ok
Even after reading over 200 pages, I'm not sure where Oprah has taken us but then I also was not a regular fan of her talk show. I enjoyed the first two chapters which focused on her life - where she came from and how she rose through the TV ranks. Then there was a chapter devoted to 'the age of Oprah" which pretty much told what was happening in the world at various points in her journey - I think that this should have been intertwined with the first two chapters. At that point, I pretty much z ...more
Deni Aria

Oprah has a broad way to bring goodness on this earth, everyone who loves her calling her the Chosen one from God, where the spiritual life of us seem degraded to void soul, Oprah found her ways to get closed to the God in "Oprah's Way" which is combined with the teachings of well-known gurus of spiritual! She seems to show everybody that the traditional religion is no longer the answer of finding God. She believes all is about a law attraction and the logical concept " conceive it, believe it
May 17, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. I'm not a big fan of Oprah, at least not in her later years where the majority of her shows were about new fangled ideas that I couldn't follow. Although I do respect what she has done to help people I can't help but wonder what has happened to her avid spiritual followers over the years that her show has been off the air; if they still share her beliefs or if they have given up trying to control their lives through their wishes.
Roger Smitter
Mansfield critiques the religious stand Winfrey takes. He says she has mixed the elements together of several faiths. Many readers would ask, "so what?". The problem he has is not with Winfrey per se but the medium she works in. TV does not handle complex ideas very well. It is terrific as a medium for communicating emotions- really weak on handling ideas. Winfrey's supporters are likely to say that her show helps them. What's the harm? Why the critique?

Mary Johnson
Aug 11, 2012 Mary Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have a tv, had never watched Oprah except when I caught her on a tv in a waiting room somewhere. When friends quoted Oprah's opinions to me, especially on spirituality, I didn't really know what they were talking about. Mansfield's book supplies lots of background and re-interpretation from Mansfield's admittedly Christian perspective. I definitely have a better idea of where Oprah and her thoughts came from. The book is clear about its facts and its biases.
Dec 07, 2012 Kalyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t sure really what to expect when I requested this book. I knew the author was a Christian and would point out the faults of this famous woman, but actually, his words read more like a biography and are fairly unbiased.

There are sections, though, where the author chimes in with his personal notes and beliefs, but these are always prefaced as such and are even written in a different text.

Sep 29, 2014 Lehlohonolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually already read it few year ago and have borrowed it to few of my friend, its the book that introduced to Stephen Mensfield. I think it very good book that open minded readers should consider. it actually open my mind as of how to changes in my society, influence and values.
Oct 26, 2011 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having told the story of Oprah, Mansfield does a lot of work on the background to her new age philospophy anmd the people who surround her.
Ashwini rated it did not like it
Feb 10, 2017
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Sep 30, 2013
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Apr 03, 2012
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Stephen Mansfield is a New York Times bestselling author and a popular speaker who is becoming one of the nation’s most respected voices on religion and American culture. He is also an activist in a variety of social causes.

Stephen was born in Georgia but grew up largely in Europe due to his father’s career as an officer in the United States Army. After a youth filled with sports, travel, and misc
More about Stephen Mansfield...

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