Most works on media developments and Christianity approach the subject from the perspective of the implications of new media technologies for traditional Christian practices or how churches can use new media to further their goals. The common framework of analysis is a 'given reality' of traditional institutional Christianity and how it interacts with, affects and is affected by media. Media are treated as a separate cultural reality. This book presents, in an accessible form, the new directions that approach the interaction of media and religion from a cultural perspective, and illustrates these new directions by a number of international and intercultural case studies and explorations. Looking at how global media are constructing cultural forms, structures and processes, the authors show how these have become the life out of which individual and social meaning is created and practised. Examining how individuals create religious meaning by interacting with media of various kinds, crossing boundaries of traditional religious cultures and contemporary media cultures, this book reveals how Christian institutions are also defined in the process of living culturally within their broader media context.
'Belief in Media provides an extremely important glimpse of the role of media in the light of globalized modernization and the re-enchantment of the present. Its base in recent research and its world wide scope - of authors and topics - give it both gripping texture and breadth of insight. Religion and media are inextricably related in the modern period and this book goes a long way in helping us think about what this means, both for academics and practitioners.' William A. Dyrness, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena 'This book reflects the interdisciplinary discourse that is so imperative if Christian Faith is to integrate in life-giving ways with our media-saturated culture. The wisdom and insights here can mediate the encounter in ways that will enhance both Christian Faith and media culture.' Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology and Religious Education, Boston College, USA 'As a veteran broadcaster, now working in church communications, I can recommend this book to journalists and religious leaders as well as religious educators. The wide range of experience of the contributors provides excellent examples and understanding of how media and religion have worked together in the past and how that relationship has been impacted by cultural change and construct. This is a definite read for those involved in religion, media and culture. It brought insight and focus to my experiences.' Frank Morock, President, Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, USA 'Belief in Media: is a long overdue guide to understanding both religion and media from a cultural perspective. It advances the perspective that both media and religion are formed and informed by the cultural community in which they exist and evolve. The reader is left with a clear understanding of the inter-relationship between theory and practice and the need to define cultural frameworks in the context of understanding issues related to religion, culture and the media. Valuable to academics,
Contents: Media, religion and culture: an introduction, Peter Horsfield. Part I The Cultural Perspective: Reconceptualizing religion and media in a post-national, postmodern world: a critical historical introduction, Lynn Schofield Clark; Theology, church and media - contours in a changing cultural terrain, Peter Horsfield; Because God is near, God is real: symbolic realism in US Latino popular Catholicism and Medieval Christianity, Roberto S. Goizueta; Notes on belief and social circulation (science fiction narratives), Juan Carlos HenrÃquez. Part II Mediated Christianity: Pentecostal media images and religious globalization in sub-Saharan Africa, J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu; Identities, religion and melodrama: a view from the cultural dimension of the Latin American Telenovela, GermÃ¡n Rey; Visual media and Ethiopian Protestantism, David Morgan; From morality tales to horror movies: towards an understanding of the popularity of West African video film, Jolyon Mitchell; Religion and meaning in the digital age: field research on internet/web religion, Stewart M. Hoover and Jin Kyu Park. Part III Media Culture And Christian Institutions: Making religious media: notes from the field, AdÃ¡n M. Medrano; Rescripting religious education in media culture, Mary E. Hess; Changes in the Thai Catholic way of life, Siriwan Santisakultarm; The US Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal: a media/religion case study, Frances Forde Plude. Part IV An Overview: Major issues in the study of media, religion and culture, Robert A. White. Bibliography; Index.