Many people joke about Oprah Winfrey's saintly nature, and the Queen of Talk has indeed used her show as something of a pulpit, preaching the importance of "being your best self." So it was only a matter of time before a bona fide brainiac conducted a study to prove what we already know: Oprah is a religious icon.

Yale professor Kathryn Lofton writes in her new book, 'Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon,' that Winfrey's message -- that you don't have to be perfect though you should work toward being the best you can be, which she calls "The Gospel of You" -- is tantamount to a working religion, according to the New York Post.