Religion and media
Part 1: Exercise 1:
Identify how the culturally dominant values outlined by Schofield Clark (e.g., individualism, freedom, etc.) connect to early ideas found in Protestantism. For example, how is individualism, which is highly prized in contemporary society, reflected in the early formation of Protestantism? Make the connection between Protestantism and protestantization by discussing the following values (each connection should be approximately one paragraph in length):
- intellectual inquiry
Having made the connections between Protestantism and protestantization, critically evaluate Schofield Clark’s theory of protestantization in approximately two written pages. Do you think contemporary cultural values are indeed a reflection of Protestantism? Why or why not? What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of her argument (whether or not you agree or disagree with her)?
Part 2: Exercise 2:
Drawing from any media you wish (e.g., print, screen, internet, art, film, television etc.), find three examples of protestantization in secular media. For this particular exercise, please draw from secular media only. Please save your research for exercise 3. Identify the following:
- the type of media used
- the specific cultural value(s) that show evidence of protestantization
- the way in which these cultural values are represented
Media: BMO advertisement (television)
Specific cultural value(s): individualism, freedom
A couple who is trying to organize their bills/financial situation lay back on their couch and close their eyes, only to open their eyes again to find themselves in a BMO office. The bank advisor informs them of the ways in which BMO can help the couple organize their lives financially that will individually suit their needs. This in turn will eventually give them the freedom to do what they want. After hearing this good news, the woman of the couple lies back on the couch and closes her eyes again in hopes of a trip to a tourist hot spot, only to re-open them and find that no transformation of her space has taken place. The message? Hard work and dedication will pay off and provide the couple with the freedom to choose what they want to do in the future.
Part 3: Exercise 3:
Having completed exercise 1 and 2 from this module, return to these works and answer the following questions. Each question should be approximately 1-2 paragraphs in length.
- Having observed and recorded examples of protestantization in exercise 2, did these examples challenge or uphold your analysis in exercise 1? That is, if you argued that Protestant values were not reflected in our society, was this further supported by difficulty in finding appropriate examples of protestantization in exercise 2? Likewise, if you agreed that Protestant values were reflected in our society, did you have difficulty in finding examples to support your claims? Or finally, if you felt that your examples supported your analysis, how did recognizing specific examples in secular media further enhance your argument?
- In exercise 2, you were asked to specifically draw from secular media. What does the fact that you were able locate examples in secular media tell us about secularism in North America?