MEDIA AND RELIGION
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COMMUNICATION SPACE OF A RELIGIOUS LIFESTYLE
MORMONS IN THE MEDIA


Marie-Therese Mäder

Communication theory is deployed in this project to link the study of religion and the study of media in examining the construction of religion in documentary audiovisual media.
In analysing audiovisual sources from and about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the project focuses on television and, in particular, the Internet, the principle vehicles for the circulation and distribution of documentary audiovisual media. Audiovisual media play a central role for Mormons, especially in connection with mission, advertising and the education and fostering of members.
The methodology of the study is based on a mixed method approach. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews with LDS media professionals in the United States and in Germany, the European heart of the LDS, provide emic insight into filmic self-representation strategies, and are combined with LDS archive material on surveys of its media presence carried out between 1971 and 2003; finally audiovisual sources from and about the LDS are examined and interpreted.