Branding Buddha – Mediatized and Commodified Buddhism as Cultural Narrative
KeywordsReligious studies, Buddhist studies, media studies
Buddhism in the West; popular culture; mediatization; entertainment; Denmark
AbstractBuddhism in the West has reached beyond the enclosures of monastic buildings and meditation centers, meeting the masses at the market, in films, books, magazines and ads, often portrayed as anything but religion. This article investigates relations between media, popular culture and religion and analyses representations of Buddhism in Danish mass media, relating it to opinion surveys, statistics and developments of Danish Buddhist groups. It discusses the mediatization, entertainmentization, commodification and popularization of Buddhism and concludes that such representations serve as cultural narratives, regenerating and transforming both the culture and the religion.