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ReligionMaterial Dynamics$
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David Chidester

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297654

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297654.001.0001

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(p.166) 13 Popular

David Chidester

University of California Press

This chapter explores the circulation of characteristically religious patterns and processes through popular culture. Although religious themes might appear in cultural media, popular culture also generates formations that seem to operate like religion. This chapter highlights three ways in which popular culture acts like religion in the formation of communities of sacred allegiance, the devotion to sacred objects, and the rituals of collective effervescence in sacred exchange. Illustrations are drawn from professional sports, consumer products, and entertainment media. As a business enterprise and cultural formation that displays all three of these features, Tupperware can be analyzed as a popular cultural religion, a religion of plastic that demonstrates the plasticity of religion in the modern world.

Keywords:   allegiance, communities, exchange, media, objects, plasticity, popular culture, ritual, sacred, Tupperware

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