Weblecture: Talking About Religion in Public

By examining several case studies plucked from recent headlines, Margaret M. Mitchell, AM'82, PhD'89, will explore the question of the proper role of the academic study of religion in relation to contemporary media coverage.

In a May 2012 column, journalist Mark Oppenheimer argued that in the American media scene, the comedian Jon Stewart is a religion teacher extraordinaire. Much can be said about this judgment on Stewart (which has predictably raised some strong reactions), but what is perhaps universally agreed is Oppenheimer’s appraisal that it is difficult “to find good writing about religion” and “harder still to find good television about religion”.

By examining several case studies plucked from recent headlines, Margaret M. Mitchell, AM'82, PhD'89, will explore the question of the proper role of the academic study of religion in relation to contemporary media coverage.