This book explores how religion manifests itself in television. It focuses on how religious traditions, 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 the cultural life of the communities. The author analyses three televised shows that captured the community's imagination and became ceremonial and religious engagement. 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 and communication studies, cultural studies, religious studies, 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 and in charge of the Department of Mass Communication, Sikkim University, Gangtok, India. He worked as a development sector professional with some leading organizations in India before making a mid-career switch to academics in 2007. With a master’s degree and MPhil in Mass Communication, he 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, and he has recently concluded a research project on digital religion and youth, sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). His other interest areas include media anthropology, journalism studies, and communication for development.