I’ve come out of my study and experiences in media and religion with a greater awareness that what we call “religion” is just a particular ideological way of thinking about experiences and questions that are really essential, generic human experiences that arise naturally from our physical, psychological and social being. In the historical development of civilisations, organized religions have claimed, or taken, ownership of these experiences and questions and built religious ideologies and monopolies that have served their institutional interests and given them an exaggerated power in society. While there have been alternative interpretations, for historical reasons these have never fully developed into a secular language free of religious dogma for recognising and giving expression to the transcendental qualities of human existence along with its material realities. I think there is the need to develop that alternative, secular language of transcendence. The following are papers I’ve presented outlining this new exploration.
(2018) “Rethinking the study of “religion” and media from an existential perspective.”
Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, 7 (2018) 50-66
(2016) “Just before I go, could we have a conversation, not about religion or religion-like phenomena, but about the transcendent nature of human existence and how people are using media to give new expression to it.”
Paper presented at the Conference of the International Society for Media Religion and Culture, Seoul, 1st-4th August.
(2016) “Human existence, religions, and the digital world.”
Public lecture in commemoration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, University of Melbourne, 2nd February.
(2015) “Beyond religion to human existence: a shift in the study of media, religion and culture?”
Paper presented at the DIGMEX Conference, Sigtuna, Sweden.