2nd Edition

Understanding Religion and Popular Culture

    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Understanding Religion and Popular Culture 2nd edition provides an accessible introduction to this exciting and rapidly evolving field. Divided into two parts, Issues in Religion and Genres in Popular Culture, it encourages readers to think critically about the ways in which popular cultural practices and products, especially those considered as forms of entertainment, are laden with religious ideas, themes, and values.

    This edition has been thoroughly revised and includes five new chapters, updated case studies, and contemporary references. Among the areas covered are religion and film, food, violence, music, television, cosplay, and fandom. Each chapter also includes a helpful summary, glossary, bibliography, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading/viewing.

    Providing a set of practical and theoretical tools for learning and research, this book is an essential read for all students of Religion and Popular Culture, or Religion and Media more broadly.

    Foreword to the Second Edition: How to Use this Book

    Elizabeth Rae Coody

    1. Introduction: What is Religion? What is Pop Culture? How are they Related?

    Terry Ray Clark

    Part 1: Issues in Religion

    2. Pop Culture’s Critique of Sacred Traditions: South Park and Satire

    Terry Ray Clark

    3. A New Myth: The Critical Study of Star Wars as Myth

    John C. McDowell

    4. On the Sacred Power of Violence in Popular Culture: American Football and the Films of Tarantino

    Eric Bain-Selbo

    5. What Makes Music Religious?: Contemporary Christian Music and Secularization

    Courtney Wilder and Jeremy Rehwaldt

    6. Ecology and Religion: Climate Change in Popular Culture

    Dell deChant

    7. Ritual Doing, Religious Doing: Understanding Harry Potter Fan Pilgrimages

    J. Caroline Toy

    8. Sacred Writings: The Biblical Canon and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

    Elizabeth Rae Coody

    Part 2: Genres in Popular Culture

    9. Cinema and Religion: The Horror Genre

    Douglas E. Cowan

    10. Food and What’s Cooking in Pop Culture: Lord of the Lembas

    Jonathan Sands Wise

    11. Television: The Big Bang Theory and Lived Religion

    Dan W. Clanton, Jr.

    12. Popular Music with Biblical Themes: FKA twigs’ MAGDALENE and the Liberating Power of Myth

    Siobhán Jolley

    13. The Tarot as Material Religion

    Cynthia A. Hogan

    14. Fandom as Religion: Cosplay, Community, and Identity

    America Wolff.



    Elizabeth Rae Coody is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside University, Sioux City, Iowa, United States and co-editor of Monstrous Women in Comics (2020).

    Dan W. Clanton Jr. is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Doane University, USA. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of a number of books and articles on religion, the Bible, and popular culture.

    Terry Ray Clark is Professor of Religion and Chair of the Religion Department at Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY.