Religionswissenschaft und Religionsgeschichte



Journal for Religion, Film and Media - Heft 4.2 erschienen

“Who, Being Loved, Is Poor?” Material and Media Dimensions of Weddings


Marriage can be understood as a rite of passage that marks a fundamental transformation in a person’s life, legally, politically, and economically, and often in that person’s self-conception, as an individual and in terms of
his or her place in society. In the contemporary European context in particular, a wedding can take the form simply of the signing of a socio-legal contract. But nevertheless – or perhaps exactly therefore – marriages are
often staged ritualistically and linked to religious symbols, worldviews, and norms.
This issue will focus on the question of how different media transmit specific aspects of a wedding, understood as an event between the private and the public, between tradition and innovation, and between collective
and individual meaning making processes. This issue shows that weddings are on different levels interrelated to religion; some of these dimensions may be more apparent as others. Media in its visual and material dimensions
play an important role in forming and communicating these levels, and thereby shape the spectator’s perception of the ritual itself. The range of research in this issue reaches from the Classical Hollywood Cinema and its specific representations of marriage to the successful American television series GREY’S ANATOMY and its tension between the portrayal of traditional heterosexual weddings and its progressive inclusion of a lesbian ceremony. Rather theatrical is the historical wedding practice of the charivari (during the 18th and 19th century) located in the region of Bern, Switzerland. An audio-visual and violent expression against nonconformist marriages according to the collective attitude and local custom. To conclude, the article “Bridal Mysticism, Virtual Marriage and Masculinity in the Moravian Hymnbook Kleines Brüdergesangbuch” elaborates marriage as a metaphor for mystical piety in the Moravian Church.




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