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The mediatisation of religion: Theorising religion, media and social change

TitleThe mediatisation of religion: Theorising religion, media and social change
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHjarvard, S
JournalCulture and Religion

Drawing on recent advances in mediatisation theory, the article presents a theoretical framework for understanding the increased interplay between religion and media. The media have become an important, if not primary, source of information about religious issues, and religious information and experiences become moulded according to the demands of popular media genres. As a cultural and social environment, the media have taken over many of the cultural and social functions of the institutionalised religions and provide spiritual guidance, moral orientation, ritual passages and a sense of community and belonging. Furthermore, the article considers the relationship between mediatisation and secularisation at three levels: society, organisation and individual. At the level of society, mediatisation is an integral part of secularisation. At the level of organisation and the individual, mediatisation may both encourage secular practices and beliefs and invite religious imaginations typically of a more subjectivised nature.