Sacred Media
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Description of project

Sacred Media; Transforming Traditions in the Interplay of Religion and Media project is carried out at the University of Helsinki, Department of Comparative Religion, and the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Communication. Project term is from 1 June 2003 – 31 May 2006.

The Sacred Media project is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural study of mediated religion and religious phenomena in media. It will continue the scholarly discussion known by the academic community in the 1990s as "The Media, Religion and Culture Paradigm".

Scholarly approach focusing to the questions of religion and media has no long research tradition in itself, but the topic has been studied in several research traditions: comparative religion, communication studies and theology. It also touches upon sociology of religion, sociology of culture, information studies, political science, new technology, and so on.

The objective of the Sacred Media project is to approach phenomena of religion and media through the following research questions:

1. Discourse on, the scope and concept of religion in media as represented through narratives, myths, icons and formats.
2. The role of media as interpreters and actors in a multicultural world during the era of globalisation.

The Sacred Media project is part of the international religion and media research network and has formed a Religion and Media Research Network in Finland. It has organized the international Sacred Media conference on Transforming Traditions in the Interplay of Religion and Media in Jyväskylä, Finland on 10–13 July 2003. The project will produce four doctoral dissertations and two other studies. The Sacred Media Network is also organising advanced training seminars for the media, regular sessions for the network, and a scientific closing seminar on the semiotics of religion.