Religion denotes deposit interest and a tremendous devotional connection to a superhuman control, power, and belief (Lövheim and Heidi 5). Therefore, religion is usually an environment of a superhuman being (God or god) concerning the idea that faith, divinity, worship, doctrine, and teaching revolve around the quest for what the superhuman requires of human beings (Jegannathan 117). Therefore, the media is the contributor of changes to the traditional religious practices, the secularization of religion has brought about a variation on the gender perspective in religious leadership, and it is predominantly influencing beliefs and believer’s behavior, moral standards and religious teachings.
This paper will seek to answer the following research question:
Media negatively influences religious teachings (Lövheim and Heidi 5). Most religions use the media actively to air out their teachings while others make the media a medium that influences belief by making religion to adopt media behavior. Religious institutions are actively using the media which in turn it influences the teachings of religions, and practices of religious leaders. Media shapes the public perception on religion secularization and beliefs since the audience usually take part in active media debate about the elements of actual religions, secularization and the efficacy of digital religion (Hjarvard 15). There are numerous controversial statements concerning the influence of media on religion. For instance, Hjarvard (9) outlined that today, the media is a medium that is used to air out aspects concerning religion, the kinds of religion in the world, a subjective opinion concerning the true religion, and the true God to be worshipped (Hjarvard 9). On the other hand, the media is used to transmit religious aspects by the use of social media platforms which attract different aspects concerning religion, the issues and critical concepts regarding religion like atheism, secularism, humanism, existentialism, the theories of religion and comparative religion in the quest of finding the true religion (Hjarvard 17). Therefore, relating the concepts concerning how the media is used to air the teachings of religion by incorporating media perception. Cheong (27) outlined that the media is considered as a medium that orients people on the aspects of religious practices, the true religion, the issues to be taught and the obstacles that affect the purpose of religion. Thus, the use of structured arguments built on the frameworks of both positive and negative implications of the media on the issue of religious teachings can help to bring out the effect of social media on religion. Lastly, the use of bibliographic sources that extensively communicate about the influence of media on religion on both negative and positive perspective is essential for supporting the research. Sec
Media Influence on Religion
The media is a factor that affects the purpose of religion in a manner that portrays that social media has made it easy for people to start their online religious practices thus developing various religious traditions that mix the concepts associated with the study of religion (Cheong 27). In that manner, the positive and negative aspects that the media subjects to religion may be justified through influencing public opinion. Therefore, media stereotypes affect the roles of religion in society (Cheong 26). The ways media affect self-perception, the perception of others, the enforcement of perception, and the effect that is contributed to three stages of perception will also be discussed.
Media is a form of communication that enhances the flow of religious concepts across the world (Lövheim and Heidi 5). As a prevailing theory, media lays a platform for analyzing how religion spreads across the world, the media also affects the concepts taught by religion, and it is used as a medium that airs out the factual aspects concerning various religious practices. For instance, media is used to air church politics and church leaders’ elections thus affecting the sanctity of the church. Besides, it is used to air out church elections, politics, and personal beliefs which negatively affect the way religious groups are portrayed in society (Jegannathan 117). Nonetheless, media picture and mobilization of supporters create an opposition behavior that divides church members according to the political affiliations relating to church leadership (Lövheim and Heidi 5). In that manner, the media is portrayed as a cause of a negative influence on church beliefs, practices, and moral standards.
Since the media champions for the understanding of everything related to religion, the aspect of spirituality has become a hot debate on the issue of the place of religion in life and the characters concerning immigration and identity (Lövheim and Heidi 5). In that manner, media portrays various influences on individual religious beliefs and also championed public perception of religion, secularism, and beliefs. It is also evident that multiple audiences participate in the active shaping of the media debate on secularism and religion. For instance, media makes religious practices to be avoided since most people usually follow media logic which might be far from the behavior that is upheld by religious traditions. Therefore, media is a platform that forms digital religion which is far from the old moral standards, values, and religious practices.
Media makes people find a divided opinion on the meaning of religious aspects of life which are mostly drifted away from the values and moral standards that are upheld by religion. On the other hand, media has been used to harass religious minorities hence affecting the way people view some beliefs irrespective of the fact that most of the minority religions also have their own subjective opinion about God, human association, and the best way humans can live harmoniously (Jegannathan 117). Most religions use the media to protest against minority religious groups in the plight of making people to view them as the true religions in the world (Lövheim and Heidi 5). As a result, position on religious practices creates heterogeneous and intolerance which promotes pluralism and secularism. In that perspective, the media is used negatively to overpower religions practiced by minority groups in society and magnifying the relevance of majority religions in the world.
The media is used to challenge religion in various perspectives. In most cases, technological advancement which is portrayed by the media as a good thing establishes grounds that enable secularism to evoke a multiplicity of meanings about religion. Mostly, people referred to the fact that religion or god is no longer present in public life (Lövheim and Heidi 5). In that perspective, a decline in norms and religious practices in the current world makes it hard for the religion to find a better meaning of life concerning the moral standards that were upheld in the past. Besides, modern secularism translates an understanding of the field of religion with an increasing multiforme contestation. Every person has a position which is rendered to be shaky and questionable by the fact that media challenges belief in different angles.
The impact of globalization on religion is felt with a clear description of the process of secularization which is mostly affected in the West and which is applied on culture and civilization. Indeed, the media is trying to change public perception concerning religion, church leadership, gender equality, and gender roles in religious practices. In that manner, the media is a platform that promotes politics in churches, improper leadership plan, and infiltration of gender roles which is a challenge to religious practices concerning the biblical concepts. Cross-cultural challenges are also transferred from one culture to another hence challenging the proper leadership plan in religion.
There is an intertwining effect on the way different cultures, religions, and theoretical backgrounds describe secularism and religion. As such, media is their orchestrator of the changes in most beliefs (Jegannathan 117). Besides, an examination into the contemporary forms of disbelief, and the study of different secular regimes, the religious potential to mobilize people on issues regarding violence, and the role of religion in creating social cohesion is mostly affected by the way people communicate on media (Jegannathan 117). Lately, the media has been reported to challenge the relevance of coherence, ethnicity, nationality, income gaps, disability, forms of beliefs, and the study of how churches need to mobilize people against violence. Various studies show that there is a negative connection between religion and social bonds in the current society.
Media is the orchestrator of the disconnection between social relationships and faith. Various factors contributed an end to the religious community, disbelief, secularism, mobilizing people to act violently and creating a challenge for people to understand the role of religion in shaping social cohesion across different groups irrespective of their income, nationality, and ethnicity. Therefore, media is used to transmit propaganda that affects the way people view religion. In most cases, most businesses raise propaganda that aims at enhancing sales while putting religion in jeopardy. The media is used to analyze information concerning religion to attract more customers who buy the content shared or the media site. According to Haines (9), media ideologies dominate the audience hence, it affects cultural transmission and sharing valuable religious practices.
Media has changed the past connection between pre-industrial village life which was mostly associated with better religious traditions (Haines 9). As a result, social life is transformed through the media which is majorly used to transmit political ideologies, hate, and improper practices (Jegannathan 123). The media connects people with generalized mass tests which affect the way the traditional religious methods are transformed and shared. In that manner, the current relationship between media and religion is mostly influenced by the fact that media is used to attract customers on specific sales in the market rather than acting as a platform to enhance social cohesion.
According to Cheong (27), the effect of media is not only a socio-cultural platform but also on its relevance as a geographic and aesthetic platform. Cheong (27) asserted that media is challenged by the fact that most people use it to transmit their political and social ideologies. In that manner, the relationship between religion and media is mostly associated with technological advancement rather than transmission of preferred religious practices which are supposed to promote social cohesion and harmonious living among people (Jegannathan 125). Besides, most people consider the media as a form of transforming religion to be modernized in the way people behave in the current society. In that manner, the media negatively affects social norms that are acquired by religion.
In summary, media is the contributor of changes to the traditional religious practices, and the secularization of religion has brought about a variation on the gender perspective in religious leadership, and it is predominantly influencing beliefs and believers’ behavior, moral standards and religious teachings. Media has a more negative influence on religion than a positive impact. Since the media is used as a platform to air church politics, it is evident that it has infiltrated the purpose of religion and the reason why the church should distance itself from creating political boundaries among the believers. Media affects the meaning of the church to develop social cohesion and to champion for the avoidance of media politics which creates political boundaries among believers. Therefore, the value of religion has been affected by the overindulgence of religion in the media.
Gender roles have also challenged the aspect of biblical view particularly on church leadership. Media is a medium that is used to air out aspects concerning religion, the kinds of religion in the world, a subjective opinion concerning the true religion. Besides, it has been found out that media is used to transmit religious aspects through social media platforms which attract different characters concerning religion, the issues and critical concepts regarding religion like atheism, secularism, humanism, existentialism, the theories of religion and comparative religion in the quest of finding the true religion. Therefore, it is evident that media is a medium that orients people on the aspects of religious practices, the true religion, the issues to be taught as well as the obstacles that affect the purpose of religion.
Cheong, Pauline Hope. “The vitality of new media and religion: Communicative perspectives, practices, and changing authority in the spiritual organization.” new media & society 19.1 (2017): 25-33.
Haynes, Jeff, ed. Religion, globalization and political culture in the Third World. Springer, 2016.
Hjarvard, Stig. “Mediatization and the changing authority of religion.” Media, Culture & Society 38.1 (2016): 8-17.
Jegannathan, Bhoomikumar, Gunnar Kullgren, and Kjerstin Dahlblom. “How do young people in Cambodia perceive the impact of societal attitudes, media and religion on suicidal behavior?” International journal of social psychiatry 62.2 (2016): 114-122.
Lövheim, Mia, and Heidi A. Campbell. “Considering critical methods and theoretical lenses in digital religion studies.” (2017): 5-14.