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PPR.363: Media, Religion and Politics

Tutor: TBC
Term: Michaelmas

Course Description

The module will examine the cultural and political relationships and intersections between media, religion and politics in national and global contexts.  Both old and new media will be considered, and consideration will be given to the transformative potential of the latter for participation and activism in religion and politics.  The research methods used for analysing media content and discourse will be introduced and applied.  The syllabus will include some of the following topics: media, mediation and mediatisation; Islam, violent extremism and Islamophobia; American media and the US elections; changing media portrayals of politics and religion in Britain; religious and political broadcasting; media, atheism and secularism

Learning Outcomes:

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate their understanding of key issues in media, religion and politics in discussions and in written assessment, and be able to illustrate their understanding with current media examples;
  • Analyse a variety of types of media (e.g. ephemera, newspapers, television, websites, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) and their textual and visual representations and discourses;
  • Articulate their own views and reflect on their own interactions with the media;
  • In addition they will have practised writing in a style appropriate for a media article, blog or other media intervention on a relevant subject.


40% coursework and 60% exam.

Coursework: 1 essay of 3000 words. Exam: 2 hours.

Teaching Method:

Lecture (1.5 hours) and seminar (1 hour) weekly.     

Introductory Reading:

Campbell, H                                            When Religion Meets New Media
Couldrey, N                                             Media, Society, World
Knott, K, Poole E and Taira T,   Media Portrayals of Religion and the Secular Sacred
Kuhn, R                                                      Politics and the Media in Britain
Lynch, G and Mitchell, J (eds)    Religion, Media and Culture: A Reader
Street, J                                                     Mass Media, Politics and Democracy.

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