Religion, Media and Culture: A Reader (Paperback) book cover

Religion, Media and Culture: A Reader

Edited by Gordon Lynch, Jolyon Mitchell, Anna Strhan

© 2012 – Routledge

284 pages

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Paperback: 9780415549554
pub: 2011-08-10
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pub: 2011-08-10
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This Reader brings together a selection of key writings to explore the relationship between religion, media and cultures of everyday life. It provides an overview of the main debates and developments in this growing field, focusing on four major themes:

  • Religion, spirituality and consumer culture
  • Media and the transformation of religion
  • The sacred senses: visual, material and audio culture
  • Religion, and the ethics of media and culture.

This collection is an invaluable resource for students, academics and researchers wanting a deeper understanding of religion and contemporary culture.


"The ability to separate religion from media from culture is becoming more dubious by the day. This collection of essays allows readers to relish the complexities and discover threads that lead in brand new directions to help us rethink religion, media, and culture. The editors have assembled a needed tool for classroom use, provoking questions, but also supplying the critical means to think through contemporary cultural engagements."

- S. Brent Plate, managing editor of Material Religion, author of Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-Creation of the World

"As a whole, the volume…provides a good mixture of original and previously published work…[It] is organized around a set of highly relevant themes, and provides a useful andaccessible resource for courses and teaching on religion, media and culture."

-Marcus Moberg, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Table of Contents

General Introduction. Section 1: Religion, spirituality and consumer culture Introduction. Chapter 1: Understanding Glastonbury as a site of consumption (Marion Bowman). Chapter 2: The economies of Charismatic Evangelical worship (Pete Ward). Chapter 3: Mecca cola and Burqinis: Muslim consumption and religious identities (Nabil Echchaibi). Chapter 4: The spirit of living slowly in the LOHAS market-place (Monica M. Emerich). Chapter 5: Burn-a-lujah! DIY spiritualities, Reverend Billy and Burning Man (Lee Gilmore). Chapter 6: Spirituality and the re-branding of religion (Jeremy Carrette and Richard King). Section 2: Media and the transformation of religion Introduction. Chapter 7: Religion, the media and 9/11 (Stewart Hoover). Chapter 8: Why has religion gone public again? Towards a theory of media and religious re-publicization (David Herbert). Chapter 9: The role of media in religious transnationalism (Marie Gillespie). Chapter 10: Religion and authority in a remix Culture: how a late night TV host became an authority on religion (Lynn Schofield Clark). Chapter 11: The angel of Broadway: the transformative dynamics of religion, media, gender and commodification (Diane Winston). Section 3: The sacred senses Introduction. Chapter 12: Scrambling the sacred and the profane (Colleen McDannell). Chapter 13: Material children: making God’s presence real through Catholic boys and girls (Robert Orsi). Chapter 14: Religious sensations: media, aesthetics and the study of contemporary religion (Birgit Meyer). Chapter 15: Finding Fabiola: visual piety in religious life (David Morgan). Chapter 16: Popular music, affective space and meaning (Christopher Partridge). Chapter 17: Living relations with visual and material artefacts (Stephen Pattison). Section 4: Religion and the ethics of media and culture Introduction. Chapter 18: Unravelling the myth of the mediated center (Nick Couldry). Chapter 19: Remembering news about violence (Jolyon Mitchell). Chapter 20: Religious literacy and public service broadcasting: introducing a research agenda (Elaine Graham). Chapter 21: Everyday faith in and beyond scandalized religion (Tom Beaudoin). Chapter 22: Public media and the sacred: a critical perspective (Gordon Lynch). Bibliography.

About the Editors

Gordon Lynch is Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology at the University of Kent, UK. His publications include Understanding Theology and Popular Culture (2005) and Between Sacred and Profane: Researching Religion and Popular Culture (2007).

Jolyon Mitchell is Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His publications include Mediating Religion: Conversations in Media, Religion and Culture (2003), Media Violence and Christian Ethics and The Religion and Film Reader (2007).

Anna Strhan is a researcher based in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Kent, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General