ISSN: 1601829X
First published in 2002
1 issues per volume
Volume 6 Issue 1
Cover Date: June 2008
The mediatization of religion: A theory of the media as agents of religious change
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Authors:  Stig Hjarvard 
DOI: 10.1386/nl.6.1.9_1

religion, popular culture, survey, mediatization, banal religion, secularization

The article presents a theoretical framework for the understanding of how media work as agents of religious change. At the centre of this theory is the concept of mediatization. Through the process of mediatization, religion is increasingly being subsumed under the logic of the media. As conduits of communication, the media have become the primary source of religious ideas, in particular in the form of ‘banal religion’. As a language the media mould religious imagination in accordance with the genres of popular culture, and as cultural environments the media have taken over many of the social functions of the institutionalized religions, providing both moral and spiritual guidance and a sense of community. Finally, the results of a national survey in Denmark are presented in order to substantiate the theoretical arguments and illustrate how the mediatization of religion has made popular media texts important sources of spiritual interest.
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