Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Timothy Renick - Chair

Second Advisor

Christopher White

Third Advisor

Kathryn McClymond


Throughout much of Christian history, the church had predominant control over religious ritual and belief. As early as the 1st Century, institutions representing "orthodoxy" were banning, forbidding or destroying the "heretical", separating it from what eventually would become canon and religious practice. The 21st Century provides new ways for spiritual knowledge to spread, bypassing traditional methods. Modern Martin Luthers can nail a manifesto to an internet door while the media's obsession with non-canonical texts provides no shortage of material for movies and television. A multi-media barrage challenges orthodox concepts and scriptural definition, often blurring the line between religion and entertainment. The initial clash between the churches and media has evolved over the last century to a point where the media may now produce beneficial results, educating many who may have either left the church or never joined it.


Included in

Religion Commons