chapter  8
Entertainment Media
Pages 12

Entertainment is a dominant activity in contemporary society; citizens invest considerable time and money pursuing pleasure, diversion, and recreation.1 From novels to video games, entertainment media are ubiquitous. According to Sayre and King (2010) entertainment engages audience members “in an agreeable way” and is “attractive, stimulating, sensory, emotional, social, and moral” (p. 4). Traditionally, a distinction was made between entertainment and the domains of work and education, but such lines are blurring. Religionists are experimenting with various media and genres. As Ferri (2010) puts it, “technology allows us to work and play almost simultaneously” (p. 403). Gabler (2000) notes that “Every day someone fi nds more inventive applications for its use”; and at some point, entertainment “became the primary value of American life” (p. 10). Pervasive entertainment facilitates the numinous in ways previously unheard-of. Th is chapter argues that the expanding range of religion into the broader phenomenon of the numinous reinforces the “Republic of entertainment” Gabler describes.