Negotiating Spirituality: Commodification of Religious Content in the Entertainment Industry

Negotiating Spirituality: Commodification of Religious Content in the Entertainment Industry

Ruly Darmawan (Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6190-5.ch004
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Abstract

Religion in popular culture is inevitable from the packaging that led to the commodification of religion itself. This commodification becomes possible due to the natural properties of agents of popular culture. If we look at it closely, there are some attempts for this commodification to some religious rituals/activities. In some media, this commodification is packed with an effort that blends musical and theatrical compositions. This chapter describes the reality of commodification on religion that exists commonly in some media entertainment. This chapter is a kind of reflection towards the “being religious” situation that is commonly found in the everyday life and daily media consumption, especially on television during religious holidays.
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Beyond Moving Image

Beside as still picture, some images can be composed together and be presented in a moving line of scenes, for instance, like a film. A film is presented through a framed screen, such as television screens, theaters, or even a mobile phone screens. Every film presents a kind of reality; that is the reality of the film. The reality of the film is the reality that has been re-constructed based on the script, screenplay or story line that was written earlier. Structured plotline of such film may obtain inspiration ranging from some real life events to the imagination of film makers (in this case, generally, the director or producer). Anyhow, the content in a film is purely imaginative. And all the scenes would be a translation of such imagination.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pseudo-Spirituality: A form of spirituality which is false and has no value or sacredness.

Spirituality: An achievement of the highest value as a result of human effort in the search for god.

Framed Reality: A reality that is reduced to display the particular significance of a reality.

Image: Visual expressions that describe the value and meaning of the subject and/or object.

Film: A moving image that builds its own reality.

Music: An auditory composition that delivers some emotions for listeners.

Commodification: a manipulated object as a seduction for the purpose of economical advantages.

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