This text examines the history, theory, cultural context, and professional aspects of media and religion. While religion has been explored more fully in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the humanities, there is no clear bridge of understanding to the communication discipline. Daniel A. Stout tackles this issue by providing a roadmap for examining this understudied area so that discussions about media and religion can more easily proceed. Offering great breadth, this text covers key concepts and historical highlights; world religions, denominations, and cultural religion; and religion and specific media genres. The text also includes key terms and questions to ponder for every chapter, and concludes with an in-class learning activity that can be used to encourage students to explore the media–religion interface and review the essential ideas presented in the book. Media and Religion is an ideal introduction for undergraduate students in need of a foundation for this emerging field.
As the availability and use of media platforms continue to expand, the cultural visibility of religion is on the rise, leading to questions about religious authority: Where does it come from? How is it established? What might be changing it? The contributors to The Media and Religious Authority examine the ways in which new centers of power and influence are emerging as religions seek to “brand” themselves in the media age. Putting their in-depth, incisive studies of particular instances of media production and reception in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America into conversation with one another, the volume explores how evolving mediations of religion in various places affect the prospects, aspirations, and durability of religious authority across the globe. An insightful combination of theoretical groundwork and individual case studies, The Media and Religious Authority invites us to rethink the relationships among the media, religion, and culture. The contributors are Karina Kosicki Bellotti, Alexandra Boutros, Pauline Hope Cheong, Peter Horsfield, Christine Hoff Kraemer, Joonseong Lee, Alf Linderman, Bahíyyah Maroon, Montré Aza Missouri, and Emily Zeamer, with an afterword by Lynn Schofield Clark.
New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa casts a critical look at Africa's rapidly evolving religious media scene. Following political liberalization, media deregulation, and the proliferation of new media technologies, many African religious leaders and activists have appropriated such media to strengthen and expand their communities and gain public recognition. Media have also been used to marginalize and restrict the activities of other groups, which has sometimes led to tension, conflict, and even violence. Showing how media are rarely neutral vehicles of expression, the contributors to this multidisciplinary volume analyze the mutual imbrications of media and religion during times of rapid technological and social change in various places throughout Africa.
'From The Passion of the Christ to the presumed 'clash of civilizations', religion's role in culture is increasingly contested and mediated. Key Words in Religion, Media, and Culture is a welcome and interdisciplinary contribution that maps the territory for those who aim to make sense of it all. Highlighting the important concepts guiding state-of-the-art research into religion, media, and culture, this book is bound to become an important and frequently consulted resource among scholars both seasoned and new to the field.' –Lynn Schofield Clark 'David Morgan has assembled here a fine team of scholars to prove beyond a doubt that the intersections of religion, media, and culture constitute one of the most stimulating fields of inquiry around today...This highly useful and theoretically sophisticated text will likely assume 'ritual' status in this emergent field.' – Rosalind I. J. Hackett, University of Tennessee, US 'This volume is a major intervention in the literature on religion, media and culture. Drawing together leading international scholars, it offers a conceptual map of the field to which students, teachers and researchers will refer for many years to come. The publication of Key Words in Religion, Media and Culture is a significant moment in the formation of this area of study, and sets a standard for cross-disciplinary collaboration and theoretical and methodological sophistication for future work in this area to follow.' – Gordon Lynch, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK 'This book offers a range of refreshing essays on the relationships between media and religion. Its selected keywords open doors to understanding contemporary society. The cultural perspectives on mediation and religious practices give some illuminating and surprising analyses.' – Knut Lundby, University of Oslo, Norway
In an era of heightened globalization, macro-level transformations in the general socioeconomic and cultural makeup of modern societies have been studied in great depth. Yet little attention has been paid to the growing influence of media and mass-mediated popular culture on contemporary religious sensibilities, life, and practice. Religion, Media, and Social Change explores the correlation between the study of religion, media, and popular culture and broader sociological theorizing on religious change. Contributions devote serious attention to broadly-defined media including technologies, institutions, and social and cultural environments, as well as mass-mediated popular culture such as film, music, television, and computer games. This interdisciplinary collection addresses important theoretical and methodological questions by connecting the study of media and popular culture to current perspectives, approaches, and discussions in the broader sociological study of religion.
This volume offers unique insights into the mutually constitutive nature of social media practices and religious change. Part 1 examines how social media operate in conjunction with mass media in the construction of discourses of religion and spirituality. It includes: a longitudinal study of British news media coverage of Christianity, secularism and religious diversity (Knott et al.); an analysis of responses to two documentaries 'The Monastery' and 'The Convent' (Thomas); an evaluation of theories of the sacred in studies of religion and media within the 'strong program' in cultural sociology in the US (Lynch); and a study of the consequences of mass and social media synergies for public perceptions of Islam in the Netherlands (Herbert). Part 2 examines the role of social media in the construction of contemporary martyrs and media celebrities (e.g., Michael Jackson) using mixed and mobile methods to analyse fan sites (Bennett & Campbell) and jihadi websites and YouTube (Nauta). Part 3 examines how certain bounded religious communities negotiate the challenges of social media: Judaism in Second Life (Abrams & Baker); Bah'ai regulation of web use among members (Campbell & Fulton); YouTube evangelists (Pihlaja); and public expressions of bereavement (Greenhill & Fletcher). The book provides theoretically informed empirical case studies and presents an intriguing, complex picture of the aesthetic and ethical, demographic and discursive aspects of new spaces of communication and their implications for religious institutions, beliefs and practices.
"... one of those rare edited volumes that advances social thought as it provides substantive religious and media ethnography that is good to think with." -- Dale Eickelman, Dartmouth College Increasingly, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and indigenous movements all over the world make use of a great variety of modern mass media, both print and electronic. Through religious booklets, radio broadcasts, cassette tapes, television talk-shows, soap operas, and documentary film these movements address multiple publics and offer alternative forms of belonging, often in competition with the postcolonial nation-state. How have new practices of religious mediation transformed the public sphere? How has the adoption of new media impinged on religious experiences and notions of religious authority? Has neo-liberalism engendered a blurring of the boundaries between religion and entertainment? The vivid essays in this interdisciplinary volume combine rich empirical detail with theoretical reflection, offering new perspectives on a variety of media, genres, and religions.
Looking at the everyday interaction of religion and media in our cultural lives, Hoover’s new book is a fascinating assessment of the state of modern religion. Recent years have produced a marked turn away from institutionalized religions towards more autonomous, individual forms of the search for spiritual meaning. Film, television, the music industry and the internet are central to this process, cutting through the monolithic assertions of world religions and giving access to more diverse and fragmented ideals. While the sheer volume and variety of information travelling through global media changes modes of religious thought and commitment, the human desire for spirituality also invigorates popular culture itself, recreating commodities – film blockbusters, world sport and popular music – as contexts for religious meanings. Drawing on research into household media consumption, Hoover charts the way in which media and religion intermingle and collide in the cultural experience of media audiences. Religion in the Media Age is essential reading for everyone interested in how today mass media relates to contemporary religious and spiritual life.
Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted on the Indonesian island of Bali, this book demonstrates that more nuanced attention to problems of media will have serious implications for how we think about the study of religions, past and present.