Pop Culture and religion

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05 Nov 2017 00:18 #305481 by JLSpinner
Right off the bat, Tolkien comes to mind. Especially the Silmarillion. He paints a fantastic picture of the creation of middle Earth that borrows themes from several religions.


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05 Nov 2017 00:31 #305482 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic Pop Culture and religion

MadHatter wrote: ...how does pop culture influance religion and us in general. I find that I am I often use tv and movie references when I am creating lessons, sermons or really in day to day life to refer to more complex topics. Even Campbell and our own Temple shows how fiction is impacting reality after it takes life from that reality.

So what tv shows, books, and movies are some of your favorites?

What media of any sort do you think almost take on a religious aspect for their fans?


A very interesting line of conversation.

In my experience, people can be easily manipulated by their culture, even popular culture. Ideals, lessons, even ways of thoughts can be transmitted either blatantly or subconsciously through media. We can derive meaning from these shows, movies, games, ect.

I remember a picture I saw once. Showed a whole bunch of anime characters (Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, ect ect ect) with the caption "I've learned more about life from people that do not exist". Games, being part of pop culture, allow people to tackle experiences and decisions they would otherwise never be able to make. I think that greatly allows for people to explore themselves, if they really think about their decisions.

I remember the first time I played Skyrim deeply affected me (before i realised many decisions don't matter). In fact, playing a game like Morrowind really can help you dive into yourself, see who you are deep inside. I learned that, deep down, I will always choose the needs of my friends over the needs of the many. Save those I care for over those I don't know. Perhaps that is monstrous of me... but that's how I am.

As for how it affects religion... I've been finding a lot of pop culture has been about personal paths, making yourself strong (marvel, DC, animes, ect). As such, faiths that have a God character that we rely upon for strength and salvation have been waning and more "new age" faiths have been popping up where you discover your personal power and grow from within. That's just my take on it tho. ;)

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05 Nov 2017 01:18 #305485 by Carlos.Martinez3
I say the all myth . Every myth is good for learning . My favorites are those I can use now . Prometheus ... to take the fire and share it and take the flack for the decision. Very knightly in my opinion . To be able to know the consiqueances and donor any way ... not only that but to be able to ensure it till the end and ... return to the begining . I love that idea ! The self sacrifice and the reward of others , the one who gives and takes the "bad" for the loved one . Blows my mind

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05 Nov 2017 01:51 #305487 by MadHatter
Replied by MadHatter on topic Pop Culture and religion
This was the original question that was posted in a discussion area for my Apprentice/s and it got a lot of swift response so I wanted to open it up for general comment:

How does pop culture influance religion and us in general? I find that I am I often use tv and movie references when I am creating lessons, sermons or really in day to day life to refer to more complex topics. Even Campbell and our own Temple shows how fiction is impacting reality after it takes life from that reality.

So what tv shows, books, and movies are some of your favorites?

What media of any sort do you think almost take on a religious aspect for their fans?

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05 Nov 2017 01:54 #305488 by Carlos.Martinez3
Ps I love the batman. The knight that makes a choice and takes the flack and hides and does ... never kills just gives them to the cops or "cages "
Em. Big boots big idea . Big consequences. Big ideas always

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05 Nov 2017 03:00 #305497 by Mag Nashira
I kind of think it depends on what else in our culture also influences us. Different personalities might be different. If we do nothing but veg out and watch TV, etc., all day then pop culture could have a profound influence on us. However, most of us also spend time with school, work, and religious organizations or spiritual activities of our own. So perhaps we are as influenced by it as we allow ourselves to be.
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05 Nov 2017 22:13 - 05 Nov 2017 23:02 #305525 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic Pop Culture and religion
This isnt exactly answering the question but its my reaction: Id say that a society's "real" religious beliefs are expressed and affirmed through pop culture. Which means i dont have a happy prognosis for the general state of things today.

We're shallow, violent, vain, impulsive, self righteous and self absorbed. Our artists are recruited into becoming tools for corporations who simply want to sell us products, usually by making us feel inadequate about ourselves. Many of the products are actually bad for us and over time will give us somewhat legitimate reasons to feel inadequate. We place more value on entertainment than education, and we choose our heroes and leaders based on their personalities or propaganda machines, rather than their actual positions or principles or loyalties. You can see these characteristics in tv programming and superhero movies and in music videos and songs and politics. Even the "news" is just an entertainment medium that deliberately caters to our most base emotional impulses. pop culture tells us what we believe in, and right now, we seem to believe in being snotty, weak little shites lol

Of course, all the stuff in op culture that I like is ok, its only the stuff that you like which sucks :P


EDIT

Ok i thought about this and i am too cynical. We have some good heroes in pop culture even of there is a lot of exploitation and manipulation. And theres still people doing their best to be authentic and to live in a way that is ethical and socially responsible. Maybe i need to spend some more time thinking on this.
Thanks for the topic, sorry for the ramble lol.

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Last edit: 05 Nov 2017 23:02 by OB1Shinobi.
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06 Nov 2017 08:31 #305543 by JamesSand
Replied by JamesSand on topic Pop Culture and religion
For some reason Madhatter's post (the OP?) appears as the third post for me.

ANYWAY.

Aside from the fact that I was raised by TV and bad movies, I wanted to throw a few "+1s" and so on out there.

When I stand tall and proud of my achievements for the day, I feel more like Mario with a Power Mushroom than I do like David with a sling, or Samson with the jawbone of an ass.

So there's that.

Video games are definitely "it" for me more than movies or anything else - when I was a lad (before it was cool to play video games), they were an option for story tellers to tell stories that wouldn't fly on the silver screen - Ie, sometimes the bad guys win, sometimes no matter what you do things don't work out well. Heck, sometimes when you try to fix things, you make them worse.

There are some fabulous tales of consequence or inevitable doom told in video games (before they became popular, say Skyrim, and you could only really be a hero) when they were "underground" (as far as that goes)

In one of Skyrim's predecessors (already mentioned) Morrowind - you could march right up to any "key" character, and just flat out murder them, causing quests (or indeed, the whole game, and the saving of the island) to be impossible to complete.

You didn't get "Game Over" you just continued playing in a world that was, now, unable to be saved (they are kind enough to let you know you have doomed the world and might want to reload, to at least save you from the "real world" consequence of spending the next 60 hours playing a game you can't win)

Other games, such as Fallout, BG2 (the expansion anyway, I think you have to be a hero in Part 1) (and my very favourite Arcanum) allowed you to side with the "big bad", if you happen to sympathise with their reasons/methods, and add your will to theirs.

Fallout in particular is known for its moral ambiguity.

Now, I don't really play modern games, so I can't comment either way - and in any case, popular movies have caught up with anti-heroes and the odd dodgy attempt at bringing the "Who decides who is a hero anyway?" into the discussion (Civil War was rubbish, but whatever floats your boat)

but in the early 90s, Video Games had the ability to tell a darker more...self-reflective narrative than Summer movies and TV - and thanks to the limitations of graphics and voice acting, couldn't really wing it on a sales pitch of sex appeal and innuendo (until Dead or Alive came out I guess, then it was all boobs and jiggle-physics)


Aside from those tales setting the "tone" for asking yourself what it means to be The Good Guy, Pratchett's stories and characters are more or less my "Go To" for reference figures.

I don't ask myself what the Lord told John, I ask myself what Samuel Vimes told Nobby Nobbs.

(Neil Gaimen is also a fairly significant figure for my "religion" as far as it goes, but he probably contributes to more of the...moister...fleshier....pulsating.....tumescent aspects of it)

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07 Nov 2017 04:44 - 07 Nov 2017 04:45 #305599 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Pop Culture and religion

MadHatter wrote: How does pop culture influance religion and us in general? I find that I am I often use tv and movie references when I am creating lessons, sermons or really in day to day life to refer to more complex topics. Even Campbell and our own Temple shows how fiction is impacting reality after it takes life from that reality.

So what tv shows, books, and movies are some of your favorites?

What media of any sort do you think almost take on a religious aspect for their fans?


We use imagination to fill in the blanks of mapping out some circumstance, the less we're involved the more imagination required to explain the disparate bits of info we do think we have. So yes while the 'map is not the territory', I'd suggest we never have a capacity to know the territory and so we're always working with different resolution maps, indeed I'd say even different maps for the same territories, at the same time!!

So fiction serves to offer a dramatic representation of this process IMO, and I tend to prefer stuff which is a bit 'out there' at the point of focus, but prefer a real plausible reality to serve as the backdrop. Basically I don't like it when the background conflicts with the focus, but am ok if the focus conflicts with the background.

A radical example would be 'Naked Lunch', its off the wall and some find it really hard to watch, but it is entrenched in its own universe where the protagonist has to accept a radical shift in view to discover (and take the audience on) how it fits with everything else. In a way it might be how perception works, we focus on that which is unusual and make assumptions about everything else until we can focus on it to update it in context with the new information.

The original trilogy of Star Wars seemed to have that for me also, but the EU was too shallow IMO and tried to explain too much in a way which didn't really reinforce the universe as much as expand the amount of characters... making the universe the focus doesn't work because it has to be where the focus of the characters is, not the audience. The newer movies seem to really have the balance better. The bored disinterest of Anakin coupled with the frolicking abandon at which a younger Kenobi romped around the prequals both oversold invulnerability or stupidity as 'Jedi', and undersold the depth of the universe they toured. Otherwise the elements I refer were there, but were lost by fundamentally bad directing perhaps, and a few other things. I do love em all though.... in their own ways.

So when that relationship between 'how' the characters interact, discover, conquer etc their universes have novelty or relevance to us in the real world, we probably carry them with us for their utility - as a level above pure entertainment. The next level up of religion would perhaps be the same thing but just a specific type of utility.

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Last edit: 07 Nov 2017 04:45 by Adder.

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