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"The intersections of religion, media, and the global marketplace may well be the defining issue of the twenty-first century. This superb collection of essays challenges parochial notions of religion, asking readers to explore the tangled web of buying, belonging and believing in today's world."-Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion, University of Southern California
Religion is infiltrating the arena of consumer culture in increasingly visible ways. We see it in myriad forms-in movies, such as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, on Internet shrines and kitschy Web "altars," and in the recent advertising campaign that attacked fuel-guzzling SUVs by posing the question: What would Jesus drive?
In Religion, Media, and the Marketplace, scholars in history, media studies, and sociology explore this intersection of the secular and the sacred. Topics include how religious leaders negotiate between the competing aims of the mainstream and the devout in the commercial marketplace, how politics and religious beliefs combine to shape public policy initiatives, how the religious "other" is represented in the media, and how consumer products help define the practice of different faiths.
At a time when religious fundamentalism in the United States and throughout the world is inseparable from political aims, this interdisciplinary look at the mutual influences between religion and the media is essential reading for scholars from a wide variety of disciplines.
Lynn Schofield Clark is an assistant professor and the director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver's School of Communication.