The Network enables people from a variety of disciplines — not just religious studies, theology and sociology, but also sport and cultural studies, psychology, anthropology, media studies — anyone who has an interest in what goes on at the contemporary interface between religion and popular culture, to examine what is happening in society today.
This is ever more important in a world defined by time and space compression David Harvey and wherein there are multiple modernities Shmuel Eisenstadtwhich allow for manifold altars upon which religious beings rest their hopes and dreams and find succor and order amidst the chaos Peter Berger.
This is not a minor point. For my part, this may mean the analysis of audience interactions and the construction of new genres in the interplay between the music of Kendrick Lamar and black bodies in Los Angeles.
About the Network The Theology, Religion and Popular Culture Network was founded in by Professors Gordon Lynch and Peter Ward to fill the need for some serious, rigorous academic engagement within the field of interaction between religion and popular culture.
This is a wonderful opportunity for researchers — emerging and established — to chart their own trajectories and check out new contours in the fields of religious, media, cultural studies, or more.
This is paramount not only terms of understanding and interpreting materials and productions, but of cultures and people, of sodalities and social interlocutors. The caution is, as McCarthy rightly notes, in asking whether or not the material bear the weight of analysis.
McCarthy came to this line of inquiry quite personally — as a fan of Springsteen growing up in the Northeast.