chapter  6
Organized religion in the age of digital media
Pages 17

The relationships between media, religion, and culture are mutual. Neither media, religion, nor culture is fixed; moreover, they are each changed through their interactions with one another. As we have seen in earlier chapters, this connection between media, religion, and culture is not a new development. Religion has always been mediated, and it is inseparable from the forms of its mediation. To say we are studying religion and media is only to make explicit our awareness of this inevitable connection. Our subject matter is rightly the entire history of religion in its multiple mediations. Through religion people seek to relate to the ineffable, to something beyond

culturally limited human experience. Yet humans cannot stand outside our own historical and cultural finitude to observe religion at work. We see religion as it is expressed in particular cultural mediations. This process is particularly evident when new forms of communication emerge, providing new locations for the religious imagination. Language, the capacity to make images and art, the development of systems of writing, the growth of literacy, and the emergence of technologies such as the printing press, radio, TV, and film did more than expand the range of messages. These forms of expression enabled new ways of being human and, through emerging forms of media, individuals and cultures found new ways to relate to and articulate that ineffable something beyond their experience.