This article discusses the nexus of religion and media on the basis of an analysis of one example of religion in popular culture: the expansion of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series in the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001) and the subsequent film by the same title connected to the book (directed by David Yates, screenplay by J.K. Rowling 2016). I present a study of religion-based, media-focused approach to film analysis that distinguishes between verbal and non-verbal aspects of mediation. The analysis treats the mediation of religion – traditional religion, magic and monstrous beings – in the film, as well as the mediality of the film. The analysis shows that the film forms part of a broader trend that portrays traditional religion as ossified and authoritative, while magic, monsters and green religion are represented as fascinating and attractive. Moreover, I argue that the mediality of the film sustains a blurring of boundaries between worlds in terms of the film-internal world structure, in terms of the diegetic vs. the afilmic world, and in terms of the human vs. the nonhuman world. The key argument of the article is that pop-cultural media constitute an important arena for religion, as media such as fantasy films both reflect and form religious transformations today. This arena needs more attention in the study of religion.
Bibliografisk noteTema: Religion og medier
- Fantastic Beasts
- Grøn religion
- Harry Potter
- Religion og populærkultur