Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Religion and the Media in the United States

ENGL 765.301


 Traditionally, the study of religion and media has often focused on how media and popular culture have portrayed religion: God as seen in the movies. This course will instead examine how media of various sorts have been resources for religious communities in the 20^th and 21^st centuries. We will examine mediated forms of religious practice, from Protestant evangelicals’ use of radio in the 1930s to Oprah’s spirituality to the development of transnational Hindu communities on the internet. We will also examine how news media have reported on religion, in part to understand the sometimes solicitous, sometimes hostile relation between secular and sacred in the United States. The course will focus on both historical and contemporary case studies, and will include significant theoretical reading on religion and media.

Undergraduates are not permitted to take 700-level courses.



fulfills requirements