Globalization and the Mediatization of Religion: From Scandinavia to the World

Clark, Lynn Schofield and Gillespie, Marie (2018). Globalization and the Mediatization of Religion: From Scandinavia to the World. In: Lundby, Knut ed. Contesting Religion: The Media Dynamics of Cultural Conflicts in Scandinavia. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 315–332.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110502060-023

Abstract

Scholarship on mediatization has focused on the interactions between the institutions of the media and the realms of society that have been historically separate from those institutions, seeking to develop an empirical record that allows us to better understand the role of media in sociocultural change. The chapters in this book have sought to contribute to this field by asking: what role have the various media industries, platforms, and practices played in the unfolding of conflict, and, in turn, how have these dynamics shaped and continue to shape religion? And although mediatization research has now taken place all over the world, this book has provided a rich set of theoretically informed, empirical case studies on the role of media in exacerbating and/or assuaging conflicts around religion in contemporary Scandinavian societies, recognizing that northern Europe is the context in which much of the theoretical work on mediatization had its origins and has continued to develop. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to discuss the relevance of mediatization theory for scholars interested in the comparative analysis of the often turbulent relationship between media, religion, and conflict in national contexts outside of Scandinavia. In this chapter we examine three underlying points of connection between Scandinavian and other national contexts to explain the general salience of this book for scholars. First, we examine the significance of national myths and their relationship to an imagined homogenous community in public responses to immigration. Second, we explore processes of globalization: the worldwide realities of migration, and displacement, and the complex entanglements of religion with alterity in national contexts of secular governance. Finally, with reference specifically to current challenges to public service media, we argue that the book provides a valuable framework for further analyses of the changing ways in which media condition public engagement with religion, thus contributing to our understandings of the mediatization of religion.

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