Contemporary Religion, Media and Popular Culture

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 5845

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Research Center of Communication, Ressources Humaines & Intervention Sociale, Paul Valéry University of Montpellier III, 34199 Montpellier, France
Interests: public sphere; digital media and IA; secularity and secularism; religious organizations; media, religion, and politics; mediatization of religion; symbolic communication
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Center of Communication, Ressources Humaines & Intervention Sociale, Paul Valéry University of Montpellier III, 34199 Montpellier, France
Interests: media, religion and politics; religious institutions and organization; mediatization of religion; authority and governance within digital context; public and political communication; epistemology of communication

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to provide an understanding of the contemporary relationship between religion, media and popular culture. It strives to refine the framework for interpreting religion in the broader context of the mediatization as a historical process of transformation in the society impacted by mass media, emergent media and artificial intelligence (Hjarvard, 2008; Krotz, 2009; Couldry & Hepp, 2013; Gomes, 2016 and 2017; Tudor & Bratosin, 2020, 2021), which plays both the role of mediator between elite culture and popular culture and of a transmission belt between the low and the high levels of culture (Fornäs, 2014). Mediatization also organizes and articulates the lives of religious “corporate” and individual actors to economic, political, and social processes and to mass culture. In this context, the articles submitted may address the following issues (non-exhaustive list):

  • The way in which media seizes on the religious, inscribed in the different visions shared by cultures and societies on the relationship of contemporary religion with the processes of media influence of beliefs, action and religious symbols, transformations of religious authority and power, etc.
  • Media transformations and mutations examined through the prism of the effects such as the sacralization of political leaders, football stars, ordinary people who have become saints, movie stars who have become idols, etc. (Eliade, 1987; Rothenbuhler and Coman, 2005; Stout, 2012).
  • The contribution of media to the construction of the religious fact addressed through case studies of magazines, religious websites, media coverage of religious events, etc. (Bratosin, 2016; Tudor, 2020, 2021).
  • The presence of organized religion in the media via churches, media coverage of religious events by the religious institutions, or the presence of religious elements in the popular culture media products as movies, films platforms, documentaries, etc. (Bratosin, 2020; Debray, 2000; Stout, 2012; Tudor, 2021).

Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratosin
Prof. Dr. Mihaela-Alexandra Tudor
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • contemporary religion
  • mediatization
  • popular culture
  • mass culture
  • emerging media
  • power

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 14449 KiB  
Article
Llamas, Barter and Travel Rituals: An Ethnographic Study on the Esquela Tusuy Dance of the Uchumiri Peasant Community, Condesuyos, Peru
by Aleixandre Brian Duche-Pérez and Lolo Juan Mamani-Daza
Religions 2024, 15(5), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15050534 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 758
Abstract
The “Esquela Tusuy” dance is a cultural manifestation deeply rooted in the Uchumiri Peasant Community (Condesuyos, Peru), reflecting the intersection between traditional cultural practices and community identity. This ethnographic study reveals how the dance, beyond being a mere artistic expression, is a complex [...] Read more.
The “Esquela Tusuy” dance is a cultural manifestation deeply rooted in the Uchumiri Peasant Community (Condesuyos, Peru), reflecting the intersection between traditional cultural practices and community identity. This ethnographic study reveals how the dance, beyond being a mere artistic expression, is a complex system of meanings that articulates social relations, economic practices of barter, and Andean spirituality, through the veneration of Pachamama and Apu Coropuna. The dance is organized around rituals that include the preparation, journey, and return of the llama herders, being a living expression of collective memory and a mechanism of social cohesion. The adopted methodology was based on participant observation and semi-structured interviews, allowing a detailed understanding of Uchumiri’s cultural dynamics. Despite contemporary challenges, “Esquela Tusuy” remains a central pillar for the affirmation of cultural identity and community resistance, underlining the importance of dance in the conservation of cultural heritage and in the articulation of local identities against national narratives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Religion, Media and Popular Culture)
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14 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Adventism and Mediatization of Fake News Becoming a Church
by Stefan Bratosin
Religions 2024, 15(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040492 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1058
Abstract
This article explores the becoming-church of fake news against the background of the rise of the mediatization of faith and religious beliefs through classic media supports, such as newspapers, magazines, and journals, between 1840 and 1863 in the United States. The analysis focuses [...] Read more.
This article explores the becoming-church of fake news against the background of the rise of the mediatization of faith and religious beliefs through classic media supports, such as newspapers, magazines, and journals, between 1840 and 1863 in the United States. The analysis focuses on the expression of Seventh-day Adventist Church beliefs in the Adventist press before 1863. The observation of this corpus follows the construction of the “narrative” of fake news from the story propagated by William Miller. The aim is to understand how the Seventh-day Adventist Church was created in the media from the fake news of William Miller. The article shows that the mediatization of William Miller’s fake news made the Seventh-day Adventist Church appear as the embodiment of an agnostic movement, as the material trace of a cultural expression of romanticism, but also as a spiritual organization, with a social and auxiliary political vocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Religion, Media and Popular Culture)
18 pages, 340 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Social Spaces and the Individualisation of Religious Experience in the Global North: Spatial Aspects of Religiosity in Postmodern Society
by Bulcsu Bognár
Religions 2024, 15(2), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020241 - 17 Feb 2024
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Abstract
This paper interprets the changing traits of religiosity in modern and postmodern societies from the perspective of spatial turn. The analysis examines the impact of social experience and action on spatial structure and how changes in spatial structure have influenced individual actions and [...] Read more.
This paper interprets the changing traits of religiosity in modern and postmodern societies from the perspective of spatial turn. The analysis examines the impact of social experience and action on spatial structure and how changes in spatial structure have influenced individual actions and experiences over the past decade, with a specific emphasis on the relationship to transcendence. The analysis explores the impact of the interaction of social spaces and actions on religiosity, in order to provide new insights into the interpretation of religious phenomena through a novel approach to the study of religion. It focuses on the consequences of individualisation, hybridisation, and globalisation, and analyses how these transformations are shaping contemporary religiosity in the global north. The paper argues that spatial structural changes are reinforcing more individualised forms of religiosity, often separated from traditional institutionalised religiosity. This gives greater scope to subject-organised ‘patchwork religiosity’, which inevitably reinforces a new kind of religious syncretism. The reflection unravels the spatial aspects of this transformation in a novel way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Religion, Media and Popular Culture)
16 pages, 6950 KiB  
Article
Islamic Caricature Controversy from Jyllands-Posten to Charlie Hebdo from the Perspective of Arab Opinion Leaders
by Lana Kazkaz and Míriam Díez Bosch
Religions 2023, 14(7), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14070864 - 1 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1614
Abstract
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons in September 2005. Cultural and political relations between the West and the Arabic and Islamic worlds have witnessed multiple events that revealed the nature and understanding of historical [...] Read more.
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons in September 2005. Cultural and political relations between the West and the Arabic and Islamic worlds have witnessed multiple events that revealed the nature and understanding of historical relations between the worlds, and the role of contemporary media in formulating them. After this incident, the phenomenon of Western media handling of Islamic religious symbols began to arouse interest, where they faced angry responses in the Arabic and Islamic worlds, which denounced Denmark, while Denmark, as a country, refused to apologize to Muslims for what they considered a major abuse, which led some Arab countries to suspend relations with the latter. Additionally, in January 2015, the French magazine Charlie Hebdo was targeted in a deadly attack on its headquarters in Paris, killing 12 people for its “red-line cartoons” on Islam. This study seeks to understand the positions of a group of opinion leaders comprised of intellectuals and influencers who represent cultural and political currents in a number of Arab countries from the phenomenon of cartoons in Western media. This study aimed to evaluate them on the intense reactions of rage witnessed in multiple Islamic countries that occurred after the release of these drawings, and ask them basic questions: Did the Arab media, opinion leaders, and intellectuals have an inciting role that provoked the Western media’s handling of Islamic religious symbols or did this practice coincide with the Arab-Islamic cultural context and its limits? Answering the above questions helped to reveal the features of continuity and change in the perception of opinion leaders in the Arab world on the role of Western media in the dialogue and cultural conflict between the Arab-Islamic and Western worlds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Religion, Media and Popular Culture)
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Review

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11 pages, 207 KiB  
Review
Confession Using Audio Visual, Distance Technologies
by Carlos M. Del Rio
Religions 2024, 15(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020214 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Celebrating the sacrament of penance or confession restores a state of grace in a person’s soul. This is vital for a life of faith to which all human persons are called, but only Roman Catholic believers can experience. Celebrating this sacrament requires a [...] Read more.
Celebrating the sacrament of penance or confession restores a state of grace in a person’s soul. This is vital for a life of faith to which all human persons are called, but only Roman Catholic believers can experience. Celebrating this sacrament requires a private and confidential conversation between an ordained priest and a baptized person. By reviewing sensory perceptions, we conclude that being in the “same location” is not necessary for two persons to celebrate penance. As the world adjusted to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, using distance technologies facilitated meaningful communications, including therapeutic conversations around mental health. We believe that using visual technologies can also help celebrate the sacrament of penance or confession. We suggest a pastoral adaptation may help bring absolution to persons from various locations seeking forgiveness. We believe our suggestions are ontologically probable and canonically adaptable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Religion, Media and Popular Culture)
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