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Public Version of REL 161 Religion in the New Media

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Big Questions

big question one
big question two
Bea Niyibizi
How does new media impact and intertwine with the rise of mega-churches like Hillsong church?
How have religious communities transformed into online communities and what did that adaptation process look like?
How has social media affected the spread of religious disinformation and the indoctrination of followers?
In relation to the LBGTQ+ community (or any other community), how has new media helped queer folks recover/heal from religious trauma?
How does new media, in the form of news channels, negatively or positively portray different world religions in an effort to warp people’s viewpoints?
Maddie Smiley:
How has media’s role within religion changed over time?
Why do people feel the need to enforce religion and how does media play a role?
What form of media is the most impactful in regards to shifts in religion?
Are televangelists a good or bad phenomenon (or somewhere in the middle) and what is their purpose in society aside from the most direct influence on their own followers?
Has media intensified religion or just helped spread it (or is the spread of religion synonymous to its intensification)?

How do/can religious communities use new media? (for liberation? anti-imperialism?)
How does new media influence religious thought and/or expression?
What would (intentionally) media-driven liturgy/ritual look like?
Can new media help people esp. those in religious communities better adapt to crisis/war/pandemic? (ie Quakers connecting to Friends in Ukraine) or does it provide a “balm” that actually quells resistance, makes us feel overrun with info and hopeless, etc?
What ethics do we need to develop around religiosity and new media? Is using media to proselytize/"bait and switch" ethical?

1. [[What counts as new media?]] When does new media become 'old' media? Is this distinction useful?
2. How can media perpetuate harmful ideas, thoughts, behaviors, etc.? Is it possible for this to not happen? Does/can policing media work?
3. How has the recent increase in digital media being used in religious settings (or as the religious setting) impacted religious communities - personally, communally, financially, liturgically/ritually?
4. What does a future look like if we continue using and developing media as we have? What does a future 'without new media' look like (thinking about Wess's recent tweet)? Can we exist without new media?
5. Why do we become so addicted to certain forms of media? Is this a net positive or negative?
How do generational divisions and societal norms impact the treatment of new media vs old media, especially within the context of religious cultures?
How does the treatment of media within religion vary between Western and Eastern practices?
How do religious concepts of idolatry and worship sustain paranoia and fear of technology and media?
Why do people fear religion? Is the divide between media and institutional religion also a connection because the two function so similarly?
Are media addictions and religious extremism connected?
Why is it important to discuss a topic such as this? How will it positively or negatively affect my approach to religion in general? In new media? What am I expected to gain from this course?
What language can I use so that I may be scientifically literate on a topic such as religion, and converse with others in a way that is sensitive to their religious beliefs; especially if they differ from my own? How would one go about gaining this skill?
Why does religion exist? What constitutes itself as religion? How does one define it?
To what standard should I hold myself to in regards to participation, completion, absence, etc.? What is expected of me, and my classmates, over the course of this class?
How probable is it that my opinions might be swayed, or changed over the course of this class? Is this class more likely to challenge? Or affirm certain religious beliefs?

Abigail Lawrence:
What does interaction via new media mean for society as pertains to religion? How does religion in the new media spread truths and propaganda?
Who uses new media? How are they affected by it? Who has pioneered religion in the new media? How does this affect religious communities?
How does the new media parallel the old media in terms of religion? How is it different?
When did religion in the new media begin? Is “new media” relative?
How does the new media connect religion and politics? How does this differ from the old media? What are the effects of policing media, and how is this relevant?

Alejandro Romero :
At what point does a religious group become a cult?
Which religions are shown in a more favorable way in the media?
What aspects of religion are not shown in media depictions?
How profitable are religious scams like Kenneth Copeland?
5. Should churches be taxed?
Cadye Cook:
1. How is religion used in all literature? How does Cassandra Clare use religion in Shadowhunters and are the stories changed? i.e. Lilith, angels, demons, Heaven, and Hell, the Angel Raziel, the devil, legend of Cane and Abel. The swords: Glorious and Heavenly Fire.
2. Why do people manipulate religion in any type of media?
3. Is religion used as a form of control? If so, how is this done through media?
4. How was religion used in early periods, like the Elizabethan Era in theatre, versus how is it used today? What was the media used for each?
5. Are all religion meshed togethers? In other words, are all the legends of religion, basically the same and how are they represented in media?
Brianna Smith:
How is religion truely shown in our media today?
What can individuals do to properly analyze religious text?
How can we analyze movies to find a religious meaning?
What can we learn from other religions?
How does one properly analyze their everyday surroundings and find a religious meaning?

Ava Taylor:
I want to learn about different types of religions and what their beliefs are
What is religion?
What different religions exist across the globe?
What are these various religions’ beliefs and rituals?
I don’t know what “new media” is, so I’d like to learn more about what it is
What is new media?
What are different types of new media?
I want to learn about how religion appears in music
What are examples of religion in music?
How is music used to spread the word about religion?
I’d like to learn about which religions use new media and how they do so
Are all religions taking advantage of new media?
How do religions use new media?
What are the goals of using new media within a religion?
I’d like to know more about how new media changes religion
How has the use of new media changed religion?
What does the future of religion look like with new media?

Abram Greene- When I think about religion, I think about Christianity. So, I want to learn more about the background of Christianity, for examples, Chrisitians back in the days, like those from the book, Foxes book of Martyrs.
Jodi Flynt:
What is religion?
How has social media affected religion?
Is social media the new religion?
What makes “religious” leaders credible on social media?
Because of the new media age are people afraid to express questions/beliefs about religion?

Tyler Dearman
1. How would you describe new media and old media?
2. what impact has new media has had on us today?
3. How would this class connect religion and media?
4. How would this class impact my life when it’s over?
5. what is some new religion?

Liz Dizon
Is it necessary for religion to adapt to a digital world? Why/why not?
How has new media changed the way people engage their faith?
How has new media affected the way people view religion? Positive? Negative?
Does the use of new media trivialize the sanctity of religion?
Is new media in conflict with certain religious values? How is this navigated within different religions?

Brandon Carter
What effects does religion have on media?
How can both media and religion be influential together?
What are the cons of religion in new media?
How do the two tie together?
What is new media?

Lucy Reardon
How do religion and media connect through various lenses (cultural, social, economic etc..)?
Is there any significant disconnect between religion and new media?
How do we define what is old media and what new media is, and how do they connect us to religion?
Can religion survive without media and vice versa?
Does religion or new media have more power over the other and our perspectives of the other?

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