The Internet Movie Database and Online Discussions of Religion

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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Religion and film scholars have long used the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as a source for material on audience responses, but not much thought has been given to what the material found on the site constitutes. This article highlights possibilities and problems with researching sites such as the IMDb, discussing how studies of Internet communication, community, and fan culture can help contextualize the material and provide a better comprehension of the discussions of religion on the site. The potential of the IMDb to offer noteworthy voices on religion is exemplified with an analysis of reviews of three religiously themed Nordic films. The views on religion expressed are theorized as a form of ‘playable religion’ reflecting contemporary attitudes to religion.

The Internet Movie Database and Online Discussions of Religion

in Journal of Religion in Europe

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References

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3)

Christopher DeacyFaith in Film Religious Themes in Contemporary Cinema (Aldershot: Ashgate2005).

4)

Kelly Denton-Borhaug“A Bloodthirsty Salvation: Behind the Popular Polarized Reaction to Gibson’s The Passion,” Journal of Religion and Film 9/1 (2005) http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/Vol9No1/DentonBorhaugBloodthirsty.htm (accessed 8 November 2012).

5)

Klaus Dodds“Popular Geopolitics and Audience Dispositions: James Bond and the Internet Movie Database (IMDb),” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS 31 (2006) 116–130.

7)

Isabel Molina-GusmánDangerous Curves Latina Bodies in the Media (New York: New York University Press2010).

8)

Kate EganThe Evil Dead (New York: Columbia University Press2011).

9)

Stig Hjarvard“The Mediatization of Religion: Theorising Religion, Media and Social Change,” Culture and Religion 12/2 (2011) 119–135.

11)

Henry JenkinsTextual Poachers Television Fans and Participatory Culture (London: Routledge1992).

12)

 See for example Matt HillsFan Cultures (London: Routledge2002).

13)

Henry JenkinsConvergence Culture Where Old And New Media Collide (New York: New York University Press2006).

14)

Tomas AxelsonFilm och mening En receptionsstudie om spelfilm filmpublik och existentiella frågor (Uppsala: Uppsala University Press2007); Charlotte Haines Lyon & Clive Marsh “Film’s Role in Contemporary Meaning-Making A Theological Challenge to Cultural Studies” in: Stefanie Knauss & Alexander D. Ornella (eds.) Reconfigurations: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Religion in a Post-Secular Society (Graz: Lit 2007) 113–126.

15)

DeacyFaith in Film6. Emphasis original.

21)

Manuel CastellsThe Internet Galaxy (Oxford: Oxford University Press2001).

22)

Mark PosterThe Second Media Age (Cambridge: Polity Press1995). For a discussion of Poster’s theory see for example Allison Cavanagh Sociology in the Age of the Internet (Berkshire: Open University Press 2007) 74–80.

23)

David HolmesCommunication Theory Media Technology Society (London: Sage Publications2005) 150.

29)

Felicia Wu SongVirtual Communities Bowling Alone Online Together (New York: Peter Lang2009).

30)

Quentin Jones“Virtual-communities, Virtual Settlements & Cyber-Archeology: A Theoretical Outline,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 3/3 (1997). http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol3/issue3/jones.html (accessed 20 November 2012).

31)

Dodds“Popular Geopolitics” 116–118.

32)

Henry JenkinsFans Bloggers and Gamers Exploring Participatory Culture (New York: New York University Press2006); Jenkins Convergence Culture; Jenkins Textual Poacher.

33)

HillsFan Cultures46–64.

38)

Mia Lövheim“Mediatization of Religion: A Critical Appraisal,” Culture and Religion 12/2 (2011) 153–166.

40)

IMDb“Storyline,” As It Is In Heaven. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382330/ (accessed 20 November 2012).

50)

 See for example Bijan Tehrani“Adam’s Apples, Taboos Are There, All the Time and Everywhere,” Cinema Without Borders3 August 2007. http://cinemawithoutborders.com/conversations/1215-adam-s-apples-taboos-are-there-all-the-time-and-everywhere.html (accessed 7 June 2013).

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