Religious Studies


International Society for Media, Religion and Culture

4-6 August 2014 / post-conference workshop 7 August 2014

Over the past decade the study of media, religion and culture has broadened out from interests in media representation to thinking about the religious uses and aesthetics of media, the significance of media for religion in public life, and the role of media technologies for new forms of religious life and practice.

Building on this, this conference will explore how we can understand societies in which much public encounter with religion takes place through media and in which religious life takes place through a multiplicity of mediated practices and networks. It will explore questions such as what difference do media content, aesthetics, technologies and networks make to the ways in which religion is understood and practiced? And how do we understand the nature of power in relation to these mediated networks and practices?

Keynote speakers will include Professor Jonathan Walton (Harvard), author of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism, and Professor Kathryn Lofton (Yale), author of Oprah: the Gospel of an Icon, with an address also given by the inaugural President of the society, Professor Stewart Hoover (Colorado).

The conference programme can now be download in PDF format from here. Abstracts for conference papers are also available for download in the following three separate files:

Post conference workshop

The Mediation and Mediatization of Religion

Debates about the mediation and mediatization of religion have opened up fundamental questions about the nature and significance of media in relation to religion. Theories of mediation have extended an understanding of what can be considered a ‘medium’ in religious contexts, encouraged a focus on practice, aesthetics and materiality, and demonstrated the ways in which media play visible and hidden roles in religious life. Debates around the mediatization of religion have raised questions about the ways in which particular forms of media shape religious life and examined the role of media in religious and social change.

The aim of this workshop is to consider what has been learned so far from these discussions, to explore contrasting analyses of the nature and significance of media in relation to religion, and to identify important theoretical and substantive areas for future work.

The programme for the post-conference workshop can now be downloaded from here


Religious Studies, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email Religious Studies

Last Updated: 31/07/2014