Religion in popular culture essay

Satan is often portrayed in popular culture with the demonic appearance consisting of thick leathery red skin, long curled goats horns and hairy goats legs and a serpent like pointed tail. This image is frequently teamed with a Devil whose personality fits with the ideology of a daring and almost cheeky character. Comparing this seemingly loveable character to that of the aggressive and fear inspiring one found in the Bible brings one to question how such a difference occurred.

Religion in popular culture essay

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The key difference is how researchers conceptualize and operationalize both of these terms. Moreover, the influence of communication in how individuals and communities understand, conceptualize, and pass on religious and cultural beliefs and practices is integral to understanding exactly what religion and culture are.

It is through exploring the relationships among religion, culture, and communication that we can best understand how they shape the world in which we live and have shaped the communication discipline itself.

Direction: Faith and Popular Culture: A Bibliographic Essay

Furthermore, as we grapple with these relationships and terms, we can look to the future and realize that the study of religion, culture, and communication is vast and open to expansion. Researchers are beginning to explore the influence of mediation on religion and culture, how our globalized world affects the communication of religions and cultures, and how interreligious communication is misunderstood; and researchers are recognizing the need to extend studies into non-Christian religious cultures.

There is not one accepted definition for any of these three terms, and research suggests that the connections among these concepts are complex, to say the least. Thus, this article attempts to synthesize the various approaches to these three terms and integrate them.

In such an endeavor, it is impossible to discuss all philosophical and paradigmatic debates or include all disciplines. Religion It is difficult to define religion from one perspective and with one encompassing definition.

Geertz defined a religion as 1 a system which acts to 2 establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by 3 formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and 4 clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that 5 the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.

To better understand how religion relates to and affects culture and communication, we should first explore key definitions, philosophies, and perspectives that have informed how we currently look at religion. In particular, the influences of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Georg Simmel are discussed to further understand the complexity of religion.

Karl Marx — saw religion as descriptive and evaluative. First, from a descriptive point of view, Marx believed that social and economic situations shape how we form and regard religions and what is religious. For Marx, the fact that people tend to turn to religion more when they are facing economic hardships or that the same religious denomination is practiced differently in different communities would seem perfectly logical.

For Marx, the notion that the Catholic Church, for example, had the ability or right to excommunicate an individual, and thus essentially exclude them from the spiritual community, was a classic example of exploitation and domination.

Such alienation and exploitation was later echoed in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche —who viewed organized religion as society and culture controlling man Nietzsche, Building on Marxist thinking, Weber — stressed the multicausality of religion. Weber emphasized three arguments regarding religion and society: Until the Protestant Reformation of the 15th and 16th centuries, Catholicism was the dominant religious ideology on the European continent.

Religion in popular culture essay

However, since the Reformation, Europe has increasingly become more Protestant and less Catholic. To fully grasp why many Europeans gravitate toward Protestantism and not Catholicism, we must consider the historical and cultural reasons: Finally, even though the majority of Europeans identify as Protestant, secularism separation of church and state is becoming more prominent in Europe.

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In nations like France, laws are in place that officially separate the church and state, while in Northern Europe, church attendance is low, and many Europeans who identify as Protestant have very low religiosity strength of religious devotionfocusing instead on being secularly religious individuals.

From a Weberian point of view, the links among religion, history, and culture in Europe explain the decline of Catholicism, the rise of Protestantism, and now the rise of secularism.

Emile Durkheim — focused more on how religion performs a necessary function; it brings people and society together. Durkheim thus defined a religion as a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things which are set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.

For example, religious rituals one type of practice unite believers in a religion and separate nonbelievers. The act of communion, or the sharing of the Eucharist by partaking in consecrated bread and wine, is practiced by most Christian denominations.

However, the frequency of communion differs extensively, and the ritual is practiced differently based on historical and theological differences among denominations. Georg Simmel — focused more on the fluidity and permanence of religion and religious life.

Simmel believed that religious and cultural beliefs develop from one another. Moreover, he asserted that religiosity is an essential element to understand when examining religious institutions and religion.

Religion in popular culture essay

While individuals may claim to be part of a religious group, Simmel asserted that it was important to consider just how religious the individuals were. In much of Europe, religiosity is low: The decline of religiosity in parts of Europe and its rise in the U.

This framework is distinct from the more Western way of thinking, in that notions of present, past, and future are perceived to be chronologically distorted, and the relationship between cause and effect is paradoxical Wimal, In his philosophy, existence takes precedence over essence, and any existing object reflects a part of the creator.

Therefore, every devoted person is obliged to know themselves as the first step to knowing the creator, which is the ultimate reason for existence.REL Religion & Pop Culture Wofford College, Fall TTh, To provide a critical introduction to the study of popular culture; 2.

To examine the rise of consumer culture, the predominance of the media, and the shifting conceptions of spirituality in the contemporary moment;.

The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a web-based, peer-reviewed journal committed to the academic exploration, analysis and interpretation, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, of the interrelations and interactions between religion and religious expression and popular culture, broadly defined as the products of contemporary mass culture.

/ Religion; The Bible and Popular Culture This Essay The Bible and Popular Culture and other 64,+ term papers, college essay examples and free essays are available now on Autor: review • December 13, • Essay • 1, Words (6 Pages) • Views.4/4(1). The connection between popular culture and religion is an enduring part of American life.

With seventy-five percent new content, the third edition of this multifaceted and popular collection has been revised and updated throughout to provide greater religious diversity in its topics and address critical developments in the study of religion and popular culture.

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