Have you ever wondered about the interconnections between mass mediated popular culture and religious education? Have you ever enjoyed a Simpsons episode and found it more generative of a critical faith than your most recent worship service? Or perhaps you're deeply involved in your local church, but have not been able to find ways to bring your friends along with you because the experience of worship feels alien to them?
This project is an attempt to explore the various ways in which media culture and religious education interact with each other. It's our conviction that more religious education takes places these days in places and in ways --for good and for ill -- that are far flung from historically grounded religious institutions. How can and should people of faith relate to media culture? Can religious educators add millions to their budgets by using popular films and other media as occasions for inquiry? Or ought we to eschew the whole "whizz bang pizzazz" of media culture and retreat into meditative silence?
We don't think either of these methods -- by themselves -- are very fruitful. Instead, we've been energized and filled with eager curiosity and wonder at the myriad ways in which people of faith struggle to live out of their convictions in this post-modern cultural period. The RE/MC project is a gathering place for people who want to ask these kinds of questions and search together for vital, generative responses.
Since this project is based in an academic setting, most of our inquiries utilize the modes and methods of that environment. We hope you'll join us -- either here in cyberspace, or at one of our occasional conferences and other gatherings.
In addition to basic background information on this project, and application and recruitment materials for our seminar and other colloquia, we hope that this web site will become a resource gathering place for information and practical resources of use to religious educators who are serious about exploring the implications of media culture for themselves and their students. For more information on the findings emerging from our research, please visit our "preliminary findings" page.
We invite you to join us in study, in prayer and in community as we move joyfully toward the next millennium, through God's grace and blessing.
|Copyright 2002 by Mary E. Hess
|This page last updated on 25 July 2002