Over the past ten years there has been an explosion of interest in how religion and the sacred connect with the media and cultures of everyday life. How are religious communities, identities and rituals being transformed by new media such as the internet? What is the significance of the media when for many people it becomes the primary source of images and of an encounter with religious traditions? Do the media and popular culture themselves take on religious significance, and how do people make use of these popular resources to 'do' religion in the contemporary world? As researchers have tried to answer these and other questions, a growing body of literature has begun to develop. "Between Sacred and Profane" offers a major review of this young and exciting field of scholarship, highlighting both its achievements and flaws, and setting out an agenda for its next phase of study. The book is an invaluable guide and handbook for beginning students who are looking for a first overview of the key issues and debates, as well as for more experienced scholars who wish to reflect on how their work will develop in future.
"Between Sacred and Profane" will be required reading for courses in theology, religion and contemporary culture for many years to come.
Gordon Lynch is Senior Lecturer in Religion and Culture at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of a number of books in the area of religion and contemporary culture, including Understanding Theology and Popular Culture and The New Spirituality: An Introduction to Progressive Belief in the Twenty-First Century (I.B.Tauris).