By Gordon Lynch
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Additional resources for Between sacred and profane : researching religion and popular culture
In both their writing and practice they recognise different media’s potential: not only can it affirm religious insights, it can also communicate them to a wider audience. Their arguments could now easily be expanded to encapsulate newer media technologies, an area of work that Boomershine himself has invested considerable energy. g. Hodgson & Soukup, 1997)? Resources? What resources are available for researchers when they seek to go beyond the contrasting ‘dangers’ and ‘opportunities’ paradigms?
These are often understated or overlooked. By identifying these undercurrents the past, the present and the possible futures of this rapidly emerging field will become clearer. Dangers? What are the dangers or threats posed to religion by different media? This is not a new question. Plato was concerned that the invention of writing would undermine people’s ability to remember well. Influenced by this account, several early Christians expressed a concern that writing would threaten the faith (Horsfield, 2003).
19) draws on several of these books to illustrate how ‘television’ is perceived ‘as the chief culprit in the alleged decline and fall of contemporary culture’. 11). The American art historian Gregor Goethals (1993) suggests that ‘most religious thinkers struggling with media mythologies’ have worked more as ‘iconoclasts than iconofiers’. From this perspective the media are seen as in direct competition or even in conflict with religious traditions. My point here is that while these criticisms of television may now sound somewhat dated, similar responses manifest themselves in other highly critical accounts of other kinds of new and old media.