Did it hurt? Did what hurt? When you fell out of heaven.

12 03 2007


Hello possums and welcome to my first post!

Just in case (by some miracle) you are not one of my fellow students reading this post, I should probably start by explaining the purpose of this blog… Otherwise you could be a bit baffled as to why the heck I’m only writing about the reporting of religious happenings in the media.

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Laws through the University of Wollongong. As part of an assessment for my Introduction to Journalism subject, I have set up this blog to follow news events in religious and cultural identity.

And so, to start with…

Dictionary.com defines religion as:

re·li·gion [ri-lij-uhn] –noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

religion. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved March 06, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

In a somewhat more verbose way, the Encyclopaedia of Religion describes religion as:

… it may be said that almost every known culture involves the religious in the … sense of a depth dimension in cultural experiences at all levels — a push, whether ill-defined or conscious, toward some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life. When more or less distinct patterns of behaviour are built around this depth dimension in a culture, this structure constitutes religion in its historically recognizable form. Religion is the organization of life around the depth dimensions of experience — varied in form, completeness, and clarity in accordance with the environing culture.”

Religion [First Edition]. Winston King. Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. Vol. 11. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. p7692-7701.

Whilst both of these definitions hold validity in explaining the fundamental constuction of any religion, neither really adequately explains the role of religious groups in society or the impact of religion on the metamorphosing cultural identity.

Although there has been conflict between religion and society at large throughout history, this relationship and the influence of religion on cultural identity has recently come to the fore in the media. The separation of church and state, the rights of schoolchildren to wear religious symbols in public, fears of terrorism and its supposed relationship with Islamic extremism and the legalisation of gay marriage are just a few of the many issues to bring religion into the mainstream media.

In an Australian setting, there are many more cases specific to our region that have involved religious groups in a media-led questioning of our cultural identity, ranging from George Pell’s comments on abortion and paedophilia to Sheikh Taj El-Din Al Hilaly’s remarks regarding immodestly dressed women.

In this blog I will be following the main happenings in the media in this area. Please feel free to comment on any thing I write or report – there’s truly nothing like a nice, controversial religious debate… Looking forward to hearing from you.





2 responses

14 03 2007

Your first comment ever… you should feel privileged. I agree, nothing like a good, solid religious debate. I always say that there are three types of useless conversations: Macs vs. PCs, politics, and religion, reason being that no-one ever changes their stance. Still, they’re definitely entertaining.

All the best with your blog, I’ll be sure to follow it. Love your diction.

15 03 2007

WOW! This sounds like such an interesting topic! Get on with it though… When are you going to do your next post? Crikey Moses.
Please write again soon. I’m really excited to have found a post on such a fascinating topic written by someone who a) has a sense of humour and b) can actually structure a coherent sentence.
Good work! Keep it coming.

Jihad Jack 🙂

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