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.
'Few, if any, media scholars are as capable as Stewart Hoover of writing this book. It provides an insightful review of religion's generally neglected place in the history of media in modernity… The result is a subtle, profound and clear-sighted analysis of some of the most difficult questions that contemporary media and society raise, which I cannot recommend highly enough.' – Nick Couldry, London School of Economics, UK
'Hoover and his team have given us a solid and essential foundation, not only for further research, but also for a more thoroughly practical theology.'- Gary Hall, The Queens Foundation, Birmingham, UK