MANGA, WUXIA AND (NEW) RELIGIOUS SYNCRETISMS: THE ORIENTALIZATION OF THE WESTERN IMAGINARY, FROM OSAMU TEZUKA TO CONTEMPORARY ORIENTAL DISCIPLINES
Article by Alessandro Porrovecchio (University of the Littoral Opal Coast, France)
ABSTRACT: A new interest in various forms of spirituality and religiosity is emerging in some subcultures of contemporary society. Oriental disciplines and martial arts are a significant case study for the purpose of analyzing this on-going process. These practices may also affect people’s identities by changing their values, ethics and morality. To explore the Orientalization process, I first introduce some features of the diffusion of the “mythical Orients” in the Western imaginary since the sixties. In particular, I focus on some media products (for example, mangas and wuxia movies) that played an important role in arousing interest in Other cultures. In this stage I will refer to some media theories, in particular to Gerbner’s cultivation theory and to the medial socialization effect. In a second step I focus on the imaginary embodied in some Oriental disciplines and martial arts. I refer to some results of research that I am conducting in martial arts gyms, starting from my experience as an instructor. In that context I performed an ethnographic study, gathering in-depth interviews with masters, beginners, fighters, experts and therapists, and analysing the interactions within online communities (virtual ethnography). This last method allowed me to focus on how some features of the media imaginary are mediated through the interactions within the virtual communities.| Read More >>
UNDERSTANDING CHRISTIAN BLOGGER MOTIVATIONS: WOE UNTO ME IF I BLOG NOT THE GOSPEL
Article by Regina Burgess (Spring Arbor University, USA)
ABSTRACT: Blogger motivations previously been studied, but there is a lack of studies specific to the motivations of bloggers who self-proclaim their Christianity. Forty-four bloggers participated in a self-administered survey questionnaire sent via email. They answered questions about their reasons to create a blog, original goals for their blog, and reasons to blog regularly [...] Results suggest that these Christian bloggers were not motivated by the same motivations to the same degree as bloggers from previous research who are not vocal on their blogs about Christian, faith-based themes.| Read More >>
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2: WENDI BELLAR, HEIDI A. CAMPBELL, KYONG JAMES CHO, ANDREA TERRY, RUTH TSURIA, AYA YADLIN-SEGAL AND JORDAN ZIEMERDecember 31, 2013 8:13 pm | Papers
READING RELIGION IN INTERNET MEMES
Research Report by Wendi Bellar, Heidi A. Campbell, Kyong James Cho, Andrea Terry, Ruth Tsuria, Aya Yadlin-Segal and Jordan Ziemer (Texas A&M University, USA)
ABSTRACT: This article provides a preliminary report of a study of religious-oriented internet memes and seeks to identify the common communication styles, interpretive practices and messages about religion communicated in this digital medium. These findings argue that memes provide an important sphere for investigating and understanding religious meaning-making online, which expresses key attributes of participatory culture and trends towards lived religion.| Read More >>
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA AND THEOLOGY, ED. JONATHAN L. WALLS (GRAY MATTER BOOKS, 2011).
Review article by Jason Anthony (Time Magazine).
“Game theorists, game designers, seminarians and the curious would do well to pick up The Legend of Zelda and Theology. Its authors can proudly list their names on the leaderboard of those minds exploring the intersections of games and religion in the 21st century.”
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 2: REVIEW – PROMOTING PEACE, INCITING VIOLENCE: THE ROLE OF RELIGION AND MEDIA, BY JOLYON MITCHELLDecember 31, 2013 5:50 pm | Reviews
PROMOTING PEACE, INCITING VIOLENCE: THE ROLE OF RELIGION AND MEDIA, BY JOLYON MITCHELL (ROUTLEDGE, 2012).
Review by Amber Stamper (Elizabeth City State University, USA).
“Mitchell has created a truly fascinating and inspiring piece of scholarship: a work of intellect that is both artistic and activist, a printed example of what a sword refashioned into a ploughshare might look like.”
DIGITAL ANTHROPOLOGY, ED. HEATHER HORST AND DANIEL MILLER (BERG, 2012). Review by Mona Abdel-Fadil (Fafo Institute, Norway).
“The most pressing question in terms of a volume like this, then, is whether a reader can expect to understand what ‘digital anthropology’ is by reading this book. In my opinion the answer is yes – and no.”