Religion has increased in importance in national and global affairs in the first years of the new century while the role of media and mediation in its evolution has often been overlooked. Emerging scholarship argues that religious evolution from the last century to this might be best explained through the interactions between religion and media. A project of research and theory-building considers the evolution of religion and the things we used to think of as religion in an age marked by markets, materialities and transformed practices of meaning and identity. This lecture will survey this landscape with a turn to emerging arguments that the digital and social media are transforming once-settled social and cultural arrangements of “the religious.” The so-called “hyermediatic” age might well transform the terms under which religious institutions, religious authority, religious identities, religious conflict and religiously-inflected social change work in contemporary local and global life.
Stewart Hoover is a Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Professor Adjoint in the Department of Religious Studies and is Director of the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado, Boulder. An internationally recognized expert on media and religion, his research ranges from legacy to digital media and across a wide range of practices and materialities in contemporary media cultures. He was founding president of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture, the professional association of this emerging academic field, and has directed numerous international conferences and seminars both in the U.S. and abroad. His books include The Media and Religious Authority (2016), Does God Make the Man? Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity (2015, with Curtis Coats), Media, Spiritualities and Social Change (2010, with Monica Emerich), Religion in the Media Age (2006), and Media, Home and Family (2003, with Lynn Clark and Diane Alters) and the forthcoming The Third Spaces of Digital Religion (with Nabil Echchaibi).
For those attending the lecture, there will be a cocktail reception in the Forum from 5:15-6:15pm.
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