Entertainment Media

In recent years, scholars have paid significant attention to how journalism influences American audiences’ perceptions of religion, but news media is far from the only source of information on the subject. The dramatic fictional narratives featured in film and television allow viewers to enter into a new world, as do reality television and documentary films. Like novels, film and television can introduce viewers to experiences outside their own lives, including religious ideas and practices. At the same time, depictions of religion on screen can reinforce viewers’ existing assumptions, rather than challenging them. Regardless, whether it is through thematic content, the depiction of rituals, or the portrayal of certain characters, film and television may well be the primary site where Americans encounter other religions. As a result, we must consider how people’s understanding of religions is conditioned by their media experiences and how media may function to improve or hinder the religious literacy of the public.

Voices: Mario Cader-Frech

Fellow in Media & Entertainment, 2018-2021

“I only thought religion existed to be religious. Now I feel like I am this advocate in looking at how religion is everywhere.”

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In Practice

[Coming soon]

Read studies of entertainment media professionals navigating real-world cases involving questions of religious literacy.

Best Practices

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Key lessons and questions for entertainment media professionals to consider as they apply religious literacy in the field.

Additional Readings and Resources

Reading lists and more resources for entertainment media professionals seeking to understand how religion shapes the world and their careers.