Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Handbook of Hyper-real Religions Released Soon

Handbook of Hyper-real Religions
Edited by Adam Possamai, University of Western Sydney

Today a new trend is clearly discernable, that of ‘hyper-real religions’. These are innovative religions and spiritualities that mix elements of religious traditions with popular culture. If we imagine a spectrum of intensity of the merging of popular culture with religion, we might find, at one end, groups practicing Jediism appropriated from the Star Wars movies, Matrixism from the Matrix trilogy, and neo-pagan rites based on stories from The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series. At the other end of the spectrum, members of mainstream religions, such as Christianity can be influenced or inspired by, for example, The Da Vinci Code. Through various case studies, this book studies the on- and off-line religious/spiritual consumption of these narratives through a social scientific approach.

Readership: All those interested in the intersection of contemporary religion and popular culture, sociology of religion, postmodern religion and consumerism.

Contributors include: Stef Aupers, Eileen Barker, Lauren Bernauer, Douglas E. Cowan, Carol M. Cusack, Markus Davidsen, Martin Geoffroy, Dick Houtman, Danielle Kirby, Massimo Introvigne, Joseph Laycock, Carly Machado, Debbie McCormick, John W. Morehead, Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir, Alan Nixon, Krzysztof Olechnicki, Adam Possamai, Johan Roeland, Heinz Scheifinger, John Wallis and Benjamin Zeller.

Adam Possamai, Ph.D in Sociology, La Trobe University, is Associate Professor at the
University of Western Sydney, and President of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on the sociology of religion. He has published extensively in the sociology of religion, sociological theory and the study of popular culture.

This book will be released soon.


Father JP said...

Neo-Paganism as well as ancient Paganism has been around way before Harry potter or the lord of the rings; wicca alone started in the 50's

John W. Morehead said...

Thanks, JP. I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. The contributors to this volume who interact with paganism are aware of this. The thrust of the book is to look at various new religions that draw upon aspects of pop culture in the creation of fiction-based or hyper-real spiritualities. There are pagan expressions of this and other types as well. Thanks for your comment.