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Framing The Gods: The Public Significance Of Religion From A Cultural Point Of View

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the public significance of religion, or, more precisely, the ways in which religious forms appear in popular culture and particularly in non-religious media settings. To do so, it takes religion as transcending patterns of meaning arising from and contributing to the relation with what is held to be sacred in the perspective of the deinstitutionalization of religion. From that perspective, the chapter looks at how non-religious institutions take over religious functions, serving as sources and media of meaning, consolation, and community. The next step is a discussion of the religious patterns one can find in popular culture, digging up as it were the religious material needed for a cultural exegesis. And finally, the chapter reflects on the meaning and function of religious forms in non-religious media: what happens when religious forms are framed in the setting of global news, entertainment, or commerce?.

Keywords: cultural exegesis; deinstitutionalization; popular culture; public significance



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