“This trend-setting collection is outstanding for its innovative combination
of three major currents in contemporary social thought—the ability of
transnational and transregional networks to shape identities beyond and
below those of the nation-state, the role of the new electronic media in
transforming the contemporary public sphere, and the forceful re-emergence
of religions and religious movements in shaping public conduct, discussion,
and debate.”—Dale F. Eickelman, Dartmouth College
Religious Studies / Media Studies / Anthropology
Mass media are an increasingly important element of religious practice and
organization around the world. Pentecostal, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish,
Hindu, and indigenous movements incorporate formats and styles ranging
from informational to entertaining and popular to elite. Through religious
booklets, radio broadcasts, cassette tapes, television talk shows, soap operas,
and documentary lm these movements address multiple publics and offer
alternative forms of belonging, often in competition with the postcolonial
nation-state. How have new practices of religious mediation transformed the
public sphere? How has the adoption of new media impinged on religious
experience and notions of religious authority? Has neoliberalism engen-
dered a blurring of the boundaries between religion and entertainment?
The vivid essays in this interdisciplinary volume examine case studies from
South America, Europe, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia,
Australia, and Southeast Asia, as well as transnational and diasporic media
and movements. Combining rich empirical detail with theoretical reection,
Religion, Media, and the Public Sphereoffers new perspectives on a variety of
media, genres, and religions.
Contributors are Walter Armbrust, Patricia Birman, Sudeep Dasgupta,
Rachel Dwyer, Faye Ginsburg, Rosalind I. J. Hackett, Charles Hirschkind,
David Lehmann, Birgit Meyer, Annelies Moors, Ays
¸e Öncü, Dorothea E.
Schulz, Batia Siebzehner, Patricia Spyer, and Jeremy Stolow.
BIRGIT MEYERis Professor of Religion and Society at the Research
Centre Religion and Society, Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
University of Amsterdam and Professor of the Anthropology of Religion
at the Free University, Amsterdam.
ANNELIES MOORSholds the ISIM Chair at the University of Amster-
dam and directs the research program on cultural politics and Islam.