RELS 218: Introduction to Religion and Popular Culture Report a Broken Link

Many people believe that religion exists solely in places of worship, but is this really true? Is there a distinct separation between the sacred and the profane? What defines religion?—culture? Does popular culture influence religion or is it a one-way street? Is today's western, apparently secularized, culture entirely unaware of the religious content—both subtle and obvious—that exists within film, literature, television, music, and the media? This course explores these questions, looking at the interplay between religion and culture in North America, with the goal of evaluating the influence that each exerts on the other.

Textbook


Forbes, Bruce David, and Jeffrey H. Mahan, editors. Religion and Popular Culture in America, Revised Edition, 2005

Unit 1


Supplementary Readings

Unit 2


Supplementary Readings

Unit 3


Supplementary Readings

Assignment Resources


World Religions
Star Trek, Star Wars, or Science Fiction
Colebatch, Hal G. P.

Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Social Conflict, 2nd ed. Christchurch, New Zealand: Cybereditions Corporation, 2003.

Religion, Diets, and Food
Sports and Religion
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Harry Potter
Colebatch, Hal G. P.

Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Social Conflict, 2nd ed. Christchurch, New Zealand: Cybereditions Corporation, 2003.

Heroes, Superheroes, and Comics
Colebatch, Hal G. P.

Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Social Conflict, 2nd ed. Christchurch, New Zealand: Cybereditions Corporation, 2003.

Religion and Film
Christianity and Popular Culture
Popular Culture in Religion
Religion and Popular Culture—General

Note: This book has a good chapter on the religious qualities of hockey in Canada.

Unit 5


Required Readings