UPDATE: 22 August 2014
“Religion and Popular Culture” is now available for public viewing here.
Week One Supplemental Reading:
Russell T. McCutcheon, “What is the Academic Study of Religion?” (PDF)
Clark & Clanton, Understanding Religion and Popular Culture, URPC Introduction
Course Description: This course examines several cultural products and activities (e.g. film, TV, video games, and comics) as a means of analyzing relationships between religion and popular culture. Two basic questions will guide our study: (1) How do scholars of religion study ‘religion’ and ‘religion-making’ activities? And (2) What do their observations tell us about the intersections between ‘religion’ and ‘popular culture’? In order to address these questions, we will read all of the required textbooks, as well as some additional materials. Our textbook, Understanding Religion and Popular Culture, lays the foundation for our examination of religion through graphic narratives (aka, “comics”). The content and workload are consistent with a 200-level course in Religious Studies, and no prior knowledge of ‘religion’ or Religious Studies is assumed in this course. I integrate diverse learning activities into the course, which I run as a seminar, or as a course with lots of discussion-based, in-class learning activities. We will use Twitter (and possibly blogs and/or websites) frequently. As a “W” course (a writing intensive course), there are a lot of writing assignments.