Literatures and Media of Religions

Pope and Media

Research profile

It is common knowledge among the public and academics that our modern lives are increasingly being shaped and reshaped by the media. Thus, religious discourses are also closely linked to media: modern (mass) media, such as film, television, radio, internet and virtual worlds, shape the religious landscape and impact on the identity formations of religious actors. Increasingly, these actors also make use of media to (re)present and negotiate their religious identity, for example on weblogs, in social networks or via special broadcasting formats, such as special-interest religious channels. Increasingly, media are also used by institutional as well as non-institutional religious groups to transport content to a broader public. Therefore, on the one hand, media reflect processes of cultural and social construction as well as their changes; on the other hand, they are also able to shape, change or create these constructions.

In various research projects, members of the Institute investigate the connection between media and religions and their processes of change. The research we conduct encompasses two separate objects of investigation and methodological approaches:


1. Analysis of media discourse

Actors or groups present, discuss and organise their religious ideas by means of diverse media formats (books, pictures, video, www, etc.), which form different objects of investigation and whose analysis calls for different methodological approaches, such as literary analysis, film analysis, etc. The perspective of this research field is both synchronic and diachronic: we examine both contemporary forms of mediatised religion in film, television, radio, internet and virtual worlds as well as historical reception processes of figurative, motivic and argumentative topoi. The research in this area is on print media as well as on auditory, audiovisual, multimedia and interactive media.

2. Socio-empirical investigation of religious actors in their mediatised life worlds

In contrast to previous research approaches, media per se are no longer seen as the cause of change processes: rather, the interplay of various socio-cultural processes must be put in correlation to mediatisation. For this reason, the methodological focus of the analysis is no longer on any specific medium, such as television or the internet, but on the individual actors in their respective mediatised worlds. To this end, empirical research projects are carried out and a constant intra- and interdisciplinary exchange is maintained. This field of activity is affiliated with the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) Bremen and is responsible for the Media and Religion lab. It is also involved in the research group Communicative Figurations of Mediatised Worlds, which was recognised as a profile network by the Academic Senate of the University of Bremen in 2011 and is a joint initiative of the Universities of Bremen (ZeMKI) and Hamburg (the Research Centre for Media and Communication,RCMC) together with the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research (HBI).

active research projects

woman im Schatten, Denkpose vor Elektronikgeräten

The construction of mental health among Muslims on social media

Samira Ghozzi-Ben Miled

This dissertation project examines how mental health is constructed among Muslim influencers and their followers on Social Media. 


The Changing Role of Religion in Societies Emerging from Covid-19

Hannah Grünenthal, Kerstin Radde-Antweiler

The role of religion has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking on renewed significance in many societies, including those experiencing secularization. RECOV-19 compares the changing role of religions in four, secularizing, global north contexts: Canada, Germany, the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland, and Poland.

Videospiler vor Bildschirmen in einem e-Sports setting, Kopfhörer, grüne Beleuchtung, unscharfe Bildschirme, vermutlich DOTA
Alex Haney / Unsplash

Research field esports – Negotiating the notion of the nation and discussing value formations

Dr. Dr. Lisa Kienzl

Video game cultures are central parts of contemporary societies. Considering ethical questions, negotiating identity and discussing the position of technology in society are vital elements in the field of esports.

Videoaufnahme in Bibliothek

GOD – reliGion gOes viDeo

Dr. Dr. Lisa Kienzl, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler

The aim of this project is to prepare differentiated facts visually and comprehensibly in video clips together with students as part of different thematic courses. Students should learn how to design explanatory videos on religious traditions or topics related to religion, which can then be used as teaching material in other courses and in school lessons.



Media and Religion


Video presentation

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler



This peer-reviewed online journal aims to create and promote a platform for scientific discussions of video games. The aim is to explore both established approaches and new frontiers of research into video games in culture, religion and society.

ISSN 2364-382X

Local visitor at the India Gaming Show South 2018, Bengaluru / India.

Video Game Development in Asia. Cultural Heritage and National Identity

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler et al.

The role of media for the construction of cultural heritage and national identities is well accepted and partly researched already. However, much the research is so far limited on mass or social media. The role of video games, though one of the most influential media genres especially for the younger generation and an important factor in social and cultural education, so far has been overlooked.

Frau mit Maske vor Laptop, dunkle Gesamtumgebung. Einzige Lichtquelle Bildschirm

Value formations in a video-game-franchise

Bodil Stelter

 I investigate value-formations by actors in the vicinity of video games (gamevironements). I examine how negotiations of values ​​take place through different interrelated contexts (USK age-rating, journalistic reception, social media discourse, gaming practice) in the German-speaking context.

Kriegsstrategisches Brettspiel

Gaming the Nation. An Intersectional Investigation of Nation, Identity and Video Gaming

Dr. Kathrin Trattner

The research project addresses the multiple interrelations between video gaming and constructions of national identity by connecting two often juxtaposed research perspectives – media aesthetics and communication studies.


Completed projects

Minority Churches as Media Settlers (2023)

Minority Churches as Media Settlers

Negotiating Deep Mediatization

Dr. Łukasz Fajfer, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler

How do minority Christian churches adapt to and negotiate with the changes brought about by deep mediatization? How do they use their media to present themselves to their followers and the general public? This book aims to answer these questions by investigating how minority organizations of two different Christian traditions in the UK and Poland – the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Orthodox Churches – use their own media to position themselves in their social, religious, and political environments.

Based on the analyses of media practices, media content, and interview material, the study develops the new concept of media settlers, which pertains to religious organizations that use their media to fulfill their own aims: expand, assert their authority, and maintain their communities. They do so through five key media practices, which can be defined as strategies: acknowledgment, authorization, omission, replication of content, and mass-mediatization of digital media.

This book is of particular interest to scholars of religion and mediatization, mainly sociologists, graduate students, and qualitative researchers working with discourse analysis. It is an insightful read for anyone interested in the Seventh-day Adventist and Orthodox Churches nowadays.


The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Journalism (2022)

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Journalism

 Prof. Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler and Prof. Dr. Xenia Zeiler

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Journalism is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, challenges, past and present global issues and debates in this exciting subject. The first collection of its kind, this volume comprises over 25 chapters by a team of international contributors. This Handbook is divided into five parts, each taking global developments in the field into account:

  • Theoretical Reflections
  • Power and Authority
  • Conflict, Radicalization and Populism
  • Dialogue and Peacebuilding
  • Trends

Within these sections, central issues, debates and developments are examined, including religious and secular press; ethics; globalization; gender; datafication; differentiation; journalistic religious literacy; race and religious extremism.

This volume is essential reading for students and researchers in journalism and religious studies. This Handbook will also be very useful for those in related fields, such as sociology, communication studies, media studies and area studies.


Methods for Studying Video Games and Religion (2019)

Methods for Studying Video Games and Religion

Vít Šisler, Kerstin Radde-Antweiler, Xenia Zeiler

Game studies has been an understudied area within the emerging field of digital media and religion. Video games can reflect, reject, or reconfigure traditionally held religious ideas and often serve as sources for the production of religious practices and ideas. This collection of essays presents a broad range of influential methodological approaches that illuminate how and why video games shape the construction of religious beliefs and practices, and also situates such research within the wider discourse on how digital media intersect with the religious worlds of the 21st century. Each chapter discusses a particular method and its theoretical background, summarizes existing research, and provides a practical case study that demonstrates how the method specifically contributes to the wider study of video games and religion. Featuring contributions from leading and emerging scholars of religion and digital gaming, this book will be an invaluable resource for scholars in the areas of digital culture, new media, religious studies, and game studies across a wide range of disciplines.


Mapping Study of Religion

"Mapping Religionsiwssenschaft, vernetzen, vertiefen, sichtbar machen" dazu eine runde Karte mit Höhenlinien

Mapping Study of Religion

Dr. Dr. Lisa Kienzl; Bodil Stelter

The project ‘Mapping The Studies of Religion2 arose from a collaboration between young academics from the Universities of Bonn, Bremen and Munich, and provided the impetus for mapping the field of Studies of Religion in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It combined a digital workshop format and video interviews with central representatives to connect researchers in the field.


Communicative Figurations

Communicative Figurations

ZeMKI Research Project - published 2017

Radde-Antweiler, K., Grünenthal, H., and Gogolok, S., 2018. ‘Blogging Sometimes Leads to Dementia, Doesn’t It?’ The Roman Catholic Church in Times of Deep Mediatization. In: A. Hepp, A. Breiter, and U. Hasebrink, eds. Communicative Figurations. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 267–286.