The Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture

1st Edition

Edited by John C. Lyden, Eric Michael Mazur


584 pages

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Religion and popular culture is a fast-growing field that spans a variety of disciplines. This volume offers the first real survey of the field to date and provides a guide for the work of future scholars. It explores:

  • key issues of definition and of methodology
  • religious encounters with popular culture across media, material culture and space, ranging from videogames and social networks to cooking and kitsch, architecture and national monuments
  • representations of religious traditions in the media and popular culture, including important non-Western spheres such as Bollywood

This Companion will serve as an enjoyable and informative resource for students and a stimulus to future scholarly work.


"Overall, this is an impressive collection of essays that encapsulates many of the important points of interface between religion and popular culture. It will become an important marker in the development of the field and its introduction at this point is timely."

Steve Knowles, University of Chester, UK

"Lyden and Mazur offer a fascinating collection of essays from a wide range of contributors exploring religion and popular culture. This is a terrific resource for the classroom and scholars will be impressed with their contribution to the field."

Gina Messina-Dysert, Claremont Graduate University, USA

This excellent, thoroughly indexed volume provides a much-needed overview of religion and popular culture, a growing area of study that draws upon a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. (…) Scholars will appreciate the breadth of coverage this work offers, and students will enjoy the many contemporary references (e.g., Miley Cyrus, South Park) that illustrate the editors' themes. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels; general readers."

S. Rokusek, Florida Gulf Coast University in CHOICE

Table of Contents

Contributors INTRODUCTION John Lyden SECTION I: APPROACHING THE DISCIPLINE OF RELIGION & POPULAR CULTURE Chapter 1. Definitions: What is the Subject Matter of “Religion and Popular Culture”? John Lyden Chapter 2. Conversations & Confessions: Who’s Writing About This, and Why? Eric Michael Mazur SECTION II: ENCOUNTERS WITH POPULAR CULTURE PART A: MEDIATED ENCOUNTERS Introduction to Section II, part A Chapter 3. Television Elijah Siegler Chapter 4. Journalism Jolyon Mitchell Chapter 5. Film John Lyden Chapter 6. Radio Tona Hangen Chapter 7. Music Mark Hulsether Chapter 8. Video- & Internet Games Rachel Wagner Chapter 9. Internet & Social Networking Heidi Campbell & Paul Emerson Teusner Chapter 10. Advertising Tricia Sheffield PART B: MATERIAL ENCOUNTERS Introduction to Section II, part B Chapter 11. Popular Literature Jennie Chapman Chapter 12. Comics / Graphic Novels Christine Hoff Kraemer & A. David Lewis Chapter 13. Food & Cooking Benjamin Zeller Chapter 14. Fashion Edward Dutton Chapter 15. Games & Dolls Nikki Bado & Rebecca Sachs Norris Chapter 16. Kitsch Leonard Norman Primiano PART C: LOCATIVE ENCOUNTERS Introduction to Section II, part C Chapter 17. Shopping & Consumption Sarah McFarland Taylor Chapter 18. Electronic Dance Music Events Graham St John Chapter 19. Sport Jeffrey Scholes Chapter 20. Monuments of Civil Religion Darryl Caterine SECTION III. RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS Introduction to Section III Chapter 21. Buddhism James Shields Chapter 22. Roman Catholicism Rodger Payne Chapter 23. Hinduism Sheila J. Nayar Chapter 24. Islam William Lafi Youmans Chapter 25. Judaism Eric Michael Mazur Chapter 26. Mormonism Lee Trepanier, Lynita Newswander & Chad Newswander Chapter 27. Contemporary Paganism Jodie Vann Chapter 28. Protestantism Clive Marsh Index

About the Editors

John C. Lyden is the Liberal Arts Core Director and Professor of Liberal Arts at Grand View University, USA. He is editor of The Routledge Companion to Religion and Film (Routledge 2009).

Eric Michael Mazur is Gloria and David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Wesleyan College, USA. He is co-editor of God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture with Kate McCarthy (Routledge, 2nd edition 2010).

About the Series

Routledge Religion Companions

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
RELIGION / Christianity / Literature & the Arts
RELIGION / Christian Rituals & Practice / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies