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RE220 (50)

Religion and Popular Culture

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Brent Hagerman

thLecture 1 Tuesday September 13 2011 Religion and Popular CultureOffice hours Thursday 45 Friday 13 DAWB 4 103D Teaching Assistant Andrea Pietrzak Piet1564mylauriercaGoalsObjectivesWhat is the function of religion then it shows up in popular culture How has popular culture shaped religionHow do people use popular culture like religion to make meaning in their lives What is religion and what is popular cultureAre there ethical implications when western popular and consumer culture adopts parodies or even ridicules religion How can an interrogation of this topic lead to a greater understanding of religion and religious people of secular society and of popular culture itself TypologyReligion in popular culture Popular culture in religion Popular culture as religion Religion and popular culture in dialogueWhat is religion a deity or deities worship rituals symbols faith sacred stories etc An essentialist definition of religion Believes that religion has a essence and tries to believe what that essence is eg belief in a deityA Common critique of essentialist definitions is that they are not universal eg many Buddhist are atheists A functional definition Tries to summarize the role religion play in society eg religion functions to unite a community A common critique of functionalist definitions is that other systems do the same thing eg hockey can also unite a community Religious Studies The objective scientific study of religionSubjective a confessional orientation towards religion eg Theology the faith based study of divinityObjective the disinterested scientific study of a broad category known as religion or religions Religious StudiesThe Scientific study of religionSummary The academic study of religion is different from the subjective study of religion The history of Religious Studies as a discipline has privileged certain points of view and voices over others thLecture 2 Thursday September 15 2011 Lecture Overview y Recap y Introduction concepts regarding the study of popular culture y Popular Culture as both Mirror of and influence on SocietyRecap y Historical intersections between the religious and the popular y Theories of religion o Essentialist or functional y Religious Studies the academic study of religionWhy study religion and popular culture The popularity of a given culture element object person or event is directly proportional to the degree to which that element is reflective of audience beliefs and values jack Nachbar and Kevin Lause Popular Culture An introductory Texty Beliefs and Values y Popularity is an indication of what the public values y Popular culture reflects values we already hold ForbesMahan 5 y Reinforces those values because they become normative y Our ideas of race gender sexuality and even spiritually are directly shaped by what we see read and listen to in pop cultureThe Role of the Audience y Who attracted the audience y What does its popularity say about the audience y How does it influence the audienceRole of the Creator y What motivated the author y What statement were they trying to makeWhat is Popular Culture y Latin cultura to cultivate the soil
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