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Title: Prime time and prayer time : television, religion and the practices of everyday life of Marthoma Christians in Kerala, India
Author: Thomas, S. P.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Prompted partly by their apparently contradictory media practices of anathematising film-going on the one hand and embracing television viewing on the other, I investigate in this thesis the interactions between television, religion and everyday life of a group of Marthoma Christian families in Kerala. I argue that an iconoclastic and reformed ecclesial group like the Marthomites have accepted television and perceive that they have incorporated it without seriously undercutting their everyday life and traditional religious practices. On the strength of the presence of a few Hindu and Muslim families in this study I further demonstrate the similarity with which families of different religious persuasions watch both secular and religious television. Taking advantage of the recent spread of television in Kerala and bringing in hitherto unheard voices of television audiences this study complements the media, religion and culture debate in suggesting that audiences in Kerala do not perceive their religion and culture to have suffered greatly by television. Using the analogy of prime time and prayer time I suggest that the relationship between television, religion and culture is more subtle and complex. Prime time (television) influences domestic religion (prayer time) but in turn is influenced by everyday life and public worship (prayer time). This thesis hence adds voice to the calls for a fresh look at theories on the influence of global media on local cultures and to those challenging some of the major voices among media and religion scholars that pronounce television to be a bane or a blessing. This thesis is organised in three sections. In Section One the theoretical, historical and methodological framework of the study is worked out. In Section Two the primary research data generated during a four month fieldwork in Kerala is analysed. In Section Three the original research questions are revisited as part of concluding the study highlighting the major findings and their implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available