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Television, Religious Objects and Secularism

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The major claim of this paper concerns the following question: 'Do the religious tools and symbols presented in the media lose their holiness at the time when they are being represented in the media?' To answer this question I propose that we should consider the media as a new creation of text for religion. Of course, we have to consider the capacities and meaning of media and religion when it arrives in the media. In other words, we should accept that the level of discourse and function of the media (whether religious or other types of media) in presenting a religious ceremony directed towards a series of spiritual values, and occasionally the values which are shown on the screens or through T.V. programmes are not the same as a religious ceremony performed outside the media area as, for example, in a mosque. Two main phenomena are important in each religious ceremony: sacred space and sacred time. It seems that in media these two are lost by the new atmosphere of the media. In this article we consider what is the religious media, and the traits and the nature of religious media. In order to discuss this concept, importance is put on three main concepts in the media. We try to say that media could present a new possibility and present religious experience for its audiences. Many of the ideas of Hoover and Eliade, even ones not mentioned in this study, are important for the study.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Communication, University of Tehran, Iran


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