Monday, July 03, 2006

Spirituality, Pop Culture, and Anime

Philip Johnson recently made a post on "Spirituality Aspects of Anime," based upon an article in the journal Culture and Religion. The article that Philip is interacting with was written by Jin Kyu Park and Philip's post echos one I made on this blog previously in commenting on Park's work.

The interface between popular culture and spirituality in the West is a fascinating area of study with important implications for evangelicalism. This is especially the case in looking at spiritual influences in Japan, not only in Japanese culture, but also in its exports as they are brought into American culture through the increasing popularity of anime (Japanese animation), and Japanese horror films. The significance of the latter was recognized by the UK Research Network for Theology Religion and Popular Culture earlier this year when they issued a call for papers that would interact with the cultural significance of the Japanese horror film Ringu (1998).

Those interested in exploring Park's thesis outside of his journal article can download another version of this presented at the Intercultural Communication Division of the International Communication Association in 2003.

Those interested in resources on theology, spirituality and popular culture will benefit from exploring Dr. Gordon Lynch's website. Lynch is lecturer in Religion and Culture in the Department of Theology and Religion at Birmingham University in the UK, and is the author of Understanding Theology and Popular Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005).

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