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Public Version of REL 161 Religion in the New Media

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REL 161 Religion in the New Media

Religio (the root of religion) means to “bind together” through practices, symbols, meaning building, and embodied community. Religion is inescapable and weaves through even the most “secular” spaces. New and emerging media today functions religiously whether through overt or more concealed methods. How is new media being leveraged to build or undermine society? As religion permeates every space just as media does, how might communities think critically, ethically, and theologically about the interplay between these two?  How does empire use media to establish its own kind of religion?  In this class, we will not only deal with these questions but develop a lens through which we gauge and understand how many forms of media are used to shape desire and community and forms of religion used to resist and challenge such formations.


Be able to broadly define religion and its impacts both positively and negative on society
Be able to broadly identify new media, its uses, and impact on society.
Name a variety of intersections between religion and new media including:
How religious communities use new media
How new media impacts community and society both religious and secular
How new media functions “religiously” through ritual and practice
Lead discussions based on interests in new religion and media
Identify affirming and more critical uses of new media

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