"The term messiah denotes any redeemer figure," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Does Oprah fit the bill?
As she airs her final show this week, Oprah's legacy as an international spiritual advisor makes her both a master marketer and a modern messiah, according to Kathryn Lofton, author of "Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon."
"The Oprah show broadcasted to 145 countries, (tells) people not only what lipstick to use and what book to read, but also what better world to conceive," Lofton said in a CNN post, "How Oprah became a Messiah." Commenting on Oprah's pseudo tele-evangelist role, Lofton added, "She encouraged everyone to buy her favorite things but also to offer the gift of themselves to the world."
"People today are really looking for a message of salvation that literally has the power to change their lives. Oprah's greatest success is that she's living proof of what she believes," said Brenda Salter McNeil, a Christian Minister, in the article "The Church of O."
Whether she helped save them or get them to spend, "Oprah Winfrey's influence on the mind, body and spirit of viewers of The Oprah Show is hard to overstate," said The Huffington Post's Bryan Maygers. "Throughout her show's run, she's consistently suggested that to 'live your best life' requires a consideration of the … spiritual."