About the Mass Culture: Theological Engagement and Spiritual Practice (2025) course
This course considers the phenomena of mass consumer technological culture and new media as the backdrop to contemporary reflections on and engagements with spirituality and theology.
Students will explore and analyse current habits of work, leisure, and communication, and lifestyle in distinction to traditional conceptions and explore the scale of the impact of current technologies and emerging norms on religious belief and practice.
The course will examine the potential for leisure and lifestyle activities to mimic and replace religious modes of knowledge and identity production, examining the writings of sociologists, social anthropologists, social critics and theologians that address and/or interpret this phenomenon.
We will trace the emergence of the phenomena of popular culture, mass communication, and digital media—exploring how they have been conceptualised and critiqued—and students will be encouraged to develop critical responses to these technologies from the perspectives of theology and Christian spirituality.
This is a postgraduate course open to ‘auditors’ e.g. those not enrolled for academic credit.
This course would made an excellent addition to a study break, retreat or sabbatical in the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral Close, where residential participants enjoy full board, access to the library and to the pattern of liturgy at Salisbury Cathedral.
Whether it’s cultural events, sightseeing (Stonehenge is nearby for example) or shopping — there’s plenty to do if you’d like to extend your stay the weekend before and after the course. For ideas, visit Salisbury Cathedral Close attraction websites to see what’s on Sarum’s doorstep. Visit the Wiltshire Creative website to view events at nearby Salisbury Playhouse and the Salisbury Arts Centre. The Experience Salisbury website has an excellent city-wide listing of forthcoming events around the city.
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Enrolled students also may attend teaching weeks for modules in addition to the modules which they are studying for credit, by permission of the Programme Leader. The audit fee and hospitality prices are reviewed annually with any changes effective from 1 July.