Religion and Media in East Asia

This project is coordinated by Dr. Erica Baffelli (University of Manchester, UK) and myself.

Taking East Asia as a case study, this project explores forms and levels of interaction between religions, believers, expressions of religiosity on one hand and social media on the other. This interdisciplinary study addresses issues such as the historical and ideological roots of the media translation and projection of religions in East Asia, the impact that this has had on the image and role of religion in the life of individuals and in the transformation of society, the state intervention (through both censorship and propaganda), the reflection of mediated religions on a new form of mediated religious ethics, the new ways for religious institutions and communities to promote themselves through the media, the relations between online and offline communities, the role of the media in the relations between local and diaspora communities.

This research project also looks at how the mediation of religion affects key concepts in religion, their meaning and social implications. Notions such as authoritycommunity,churchethicspilgrimageritualtextpractice are thus addressed. The critical theories advanced and analysed can also contribute to the overall recent field of religion and the media.

Some associate fellows and myself are working towards to the publication of the volume Religion and the Media in China.

Among other activities, Erica Baffelli and myself are teaching a Masterclass on Religion and Media in East Asia: Theories and Concepts in December 2014, which is open to students in religious studies, East Asian studies, media and journalism studies. This Masterclass has been organised in association with the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen and Globalisation Studies Groningen.

For more details on activities and associate fellows, please check the Centre’s website.