Mediating Religion, Sanctifying Media
Mediating Religion, Sanctifying Media draws upon insights from contemporary religion, media, and culture scholarship to examine the processes and meanings of mediatization in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Israel. The case of Amnon Yitzhak and his outreach organization Shofar serves as a starting point for exploring alternative religious media, their niche audiences, and the media cultures they produce. Chapter one addresses the nexus of religion and media in the contemporary context and introduces the theoretical framework. Chapter two provides a close reading of selected media texts produced by Shofar in order to outline the organization's religio-political world view. Chapter three explores the importance of place for Yitzhak's outreach lectures and the ways in which mediation reshapes the symbolic and political meanings of the venues. Chapter four describes and analyzes the spiritual economy at work in the lectures, paying close attention to the multi-faceted role of the body. Chapter five reflects upon globalization, transnational media, diaspora communities, and contemporary religious revival. The book concludes with an epilogue and a self-reflexive account by the author.