Long research traditions exist behind both the theorization of the relationship between religion and media and that of the conversion to and renunciation of religion. For some reason, however, these two traditions have rarely overlapped. Neither in the study of leaving religion nor in that of religious conversion has there been a focus on the role of media. While media cannot be said to be the main reason behind or motivation for renouncing any given religion, it is nevertheless crucial not to discount its role in facilitating the leaving of religion and maintaining the apostate’s new identity. As research focusing primarily on the significance of the role played by media in one’s decision to leave religion is scarce, the main aim of this chapter is to provide some tools for thinking about the relevance of media and communication to leaving religion. Most of the views presented here apply primarily to countries with relatively free and uncensored media and access to online media.
There are two kinds of scholars in the world, those who do theory and those who do not. This is one of the main organizing binaries in Theory in a Time of Excess (edited by Aaron W. Hughes). All contributors of the volume agree that theory is something that is valuable. In this essay I explore what theory means in this book and how contributors to the volume highlight different aspects of theorizing. This opens up the question of who are the most fruitful conversation partners that potentially maintain and extend a commitment to theorizing.