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JRFM is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication. It offers a platform for scholarly research in the broad field of religion and media, with a particular interest in audio-visual and interactive forms of communication. It engages with the challenges arising from the dynamic development of media technologies and their interaction with religion in an interdisciplinary key.

JRFM is edited by a network of international film, media and religion experts from different countries and with professional experience in research, teaching and publishing in an interdisciplinary setting, linking perspectives from the study of religion and theology, film, media, visual and cultural studies, and sociology. It emerges from the cooperation between different institutions in Europe, particularly the University of Graz and the University of Munich in cooperation with the Schüren publishing house in Marburg.

Call for Papers: JRFM 2018, 4/2: “Who, Being Loved, is Poor?” Material and Media Dimensions of Wedding

2017-05-19

Wedding rituals are performed as a “rite de passage” in diverse cultures and within religious as well as secular contexts in manifold variations. The temporal horizon of the marriage vow might be forever and eternal, until death breaks the couple apart, or just temporary. The ritual can include only two persons or several, groom and bride, two grooms or two brides or a multiplicity of persons in any constellation. For some time now, weddings have become events, a big business with fairs, wedding planners and specific products for the special day(s). Media representations influence the look and performance of weddings, how the festivities are orchestrated and celebrated. And at the same time, many couples are looking for alternative expressions of the wedding ritual.

Vol 3 No 1 (2017): Drawn Stories, Moving Images. Comic Books and their Screen Adaptations

In theology and in the study of religion, the analysis of religious motifs in comics is far from complete. In many comics, religious symbols are widely used; protagonists often become – in their own, sometimes rather particular ways – savior-like figure in order to bring salvation to an evil and hostile world. Furthermore, narratives often address fundamental and existential human questions. Even without answering them directly, comics often link such questions with hope. The narratives also open up a space to allow for the audience to identify with the characters leaving traces – or imprints – in the audience’s everyday lives. Comics can have an impact on a range of socio-cultural contexts. They offer reflections on topics like violence and radicalization or about strategies of empowerment or ways of uncovering hidden meanings. In addition to such reflections, this issue also contributes to the analysis of the relationship between comics and their film adaptations, a field that has received little attention so far in the context of the study of religion and theology. In a narrower sense, one of the most important questions is how the “encodings of religious presences” are formally performed in comics and comic book film adaptations. In keeping with the traditional theoretical problem of the translation of absence and presence, this issue focuses on the religious potential of comics books and their screen adaptation.

In the open section, the North-American philosopher Michael Heim discusses the new wave of VR (virtual reality) devices, several of which are either already on the market or their release is announced for 2017. This intensifies the question of how to bridge virtuality and reality. Heim’s paper draws on post-Jungian archetypal psychology (James Hillman, Rhomas Moore) and the retrieval of Renaissance theology (Marsilio Ficino). Two experiences with Samsung Gear VR then illustrate how classic archetypal elements can contribute to bridging the virtual and the real.

Published: 2017-05-15

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