SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Contemporary Themes in Media and Religion 15PSRH048

Module Code:
Module Withdrawn
Year of study:

The course has two main objectives. The first is to provide students with a critical understanding of the main theoretical approaches in Media Studies to the phenomenon of religion in its various forms. In the modern world, not least in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, people’s knowledge of religion and engagement with others increasingly takes place through broadcast media or the Internet and mobile phones. The second is to examine how, conversely, media and film often involve implicit religious presuppositions, which are recycled under the banner of secular modernization.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Coherent knowledge of the main theoretical approaches in Media Studies to issues of religion globally.
  • A detailed knowledge of how academic arguments are constructed in Media Studies that pertain to contemporary forms of religion, whether the formation of new kinds of religious communities, the articulation of religious (e.g. virtual) experience or the dissemination of new kinds of knowledge of religions.
  • How to analyze the role of the mass media in the discursive diversity of contemporary religious thought and practice.
  • How to evaluate the role of the mass media in religious representations and experience in different societies
  • A critical analysis of advanced techniques of reading and studying audio-visual materials to appreciate how arguments are presented and composed, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to present the findings.


One hour lecture + one hour tutorial per week (10 weeks)

Method of assessment

Either an essay of 5,000 words or an essay of 4,000 words and not more than approximately 15 minutes of video or audio-recording, or 50 still images.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules