The Internet Movie Database and Online Discussions of Religion

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Sofia Sjö Department of Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University,

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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.

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