Televising Religion in India
An Anthropological Reading
This book explores how religion manifests itself in television and popular media. It focuses on how religious tradition, practices and discourses have been incorporated into non-religious television programmes and how they bring both the community and the media into the fold of religion.
The volume traces the cultural and institutional history of television in the state of Sikkim, India to investigate how it became part of cultural life of communities. The author has analysed three televised shows which captured the imagination of communities and became a ceremonial and religious practice. Through these case studies, he highlights how rituals and myths function in mass media, how traditional institutions and religious practices redefine themselves through their association with the visual mass medium, and how identities based on religion, cultural tradition and politics are reinforced, transformed and amplified through television. The book further analyses the engagement of televised religion with audiences, its reach, relevance and contents and its relationship with urbanity, tradition, and identity.
This volume will be of interest to students and researchers of media studies, culture studies, religious studies, media and communications, sociology, cultural anthropology, and history.
Table of Contents
List of Figures. 1. Prologue 2. Theoretical underpinnings: Rituals, media events and myths 3. Television as Public Technology in Sikkim 4. Idolising Indian Idol 5. Ceremonials of Electronic Wedding 6. Rituals of Immortality 7. Epilogue – Televisual events and the rites of passage. References. Index.
Manoj Kumar Das is a senior assistant professor, in-charge of the Department of Mass Communication, Sikkim University, Gangtok, India. He made a mid-career shift to academics in 2007 and earned his doctoral degree from New Delhi based Jamia Millia Islamia’s Centre for Culture, Media and Governance. His primary area of interest has been in the field of media and religion, including digital religion. His other interest areas include, media anthropology, journalism studies, and communication for development.