We will begin by defining religion and popular culture and then move on to answer such questions as: How do popular culture and the mass media affect religion? Conversely, how does religion affect our popular culture and mass media? What are we to think of Christian forms of commercial entertainment like “religious rock music,” “Christian hip-hop,” and “Christian romance novels” or motion pictures? Several critics have pointed out that the industry that produces these things is nothing more than an attempt to make money off of religion. Others, however, feel that this industry provides an important role in maintaining and reinforcing religious identity by giving people what they want: religious commercial entertainment. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to explore the role religion plays in creating and maintaining culture through popular cultural expressions such as music, television, motion pictures, sports, and fashion. We will analyze how popular culture affects religion and how religion, in turn, affects popular culture and society.
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
2009 Date Published
Religious Studies, Sociology Discipline
Catholic, Other Christianities, Protestant Religous Tradition
Popular Culture/Media/Music/Sports, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars Topics