Secular Tv Show Essay

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Critically assess the claim that secular television shows might be said to perform a religious function. You should select a particular secular television show to illustrate your argument.

I believe that secular television programmes may be seen to perform a religious function to certain individuals and may be seen not to to other individuals. It solely depends on how you interpret the said television show and your own understanding and knowledge of the wider context surrounding the programme. As Cowan suggests television programmes are tabula rosa (a blank state) (Cowan 2010, p.263). This meaning you can take what you want from TV programmes, and there is no wrong or right thing to take from them. It is our world views and ideas and also
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This taken from Cowan’s Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen, makes you think about why producers use the techniques in which they do within horror films to tell a scary story. I believe they use religion to tell a ‘scary story’ for example within American Horror Story: Asylum to make them perform a religious function. To make us as the viewers sit and wonder about the bigger questions to life and death for example, and to make us test our faith and beliefs.

‘Religious imagery and themes exist in horror films because we are both compelled by and fearful of religions’ (Terry 2009, p.116). This shows perfectly how and why we as viewers are so compelled to watch secular television shows and films based around religion and horror, because it is one of the most intriguing and frustrating topics, that no one will ever have one definite answer to. If we apply this to the likes of American Horror Story: Asylum for example it shows how it can be seen to provide a religious function because we as viewers are both compelled and fearful, and producers tend to play on
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