Increasingly, the religious practices people engage in and the ways they talk about what is meaningful or sacred take place in the context of media culture–in the realm of the so-called secular. Focusing on this intersection of the sacred and the secular, this volume gathers together the work of media experts, religious historians, sociologists of religion, and authorities on American studies and art history.
Since the 1970s, more and more religious stories have made their way to headline news: the Islamic Revolution in Iran, televangelism and its scandals, and the rise of the Evangelical New Right and its role in politics, to name but a few. Media treatment of religion can be seen as a kind of indicator of the broader role and status of religion on the contemporary scene.
The growing connections between media, culture, and religion are increasingly evident in our society today but have rarely been linked theoretically until now. Beginning with the decline of religious institutions during the latter part of this century, Rethinking Media, Religion, and Culture focuses on issues such as the increasing autonomy and individualized practice of religion, the surge of media and media-based icons that are often imbued with religious qualities, and the ensuing effect on cultural practices.
Mass Media Religion considers and explores the implications of the ever growing religious broadcasting media in terms of their social and political contexts. The author reviews both the historical origins of fundamentalist and neo-evangelical responses to the crisis of modernity and the historical development of the electronic church.