Mediation and immediacy: sensational forms, semiotic ideologies and the question of the medium
Article first published online: 25 JAN 2011
© 2011 European Association of Social Anthropologists.
Special Issue: What is a medium? Theologies, technologies and aspirations
Volume 19, Issue 1, pages 23–39, February 2011
How to Cite
Meyer, B. (2011), Mediation and immediacy: sensational forms, semiotic ideologies and the question of the medium. Social Anthropology, 19: 23–39. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8676.2010.00137.x
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 25 JAN 2011
Taking as a starting point the paradox that immediacy is not prior to, but rather a product of mediation, this article argues that the negotiation of newly available media technologies is key to the transformation of religion. Invoked to authorise sensations of spiritual powers as immediate and real, media are prone to ‘disappear’ or become ‘hyper-apparent’ in the act of mediation. I argue that a view of media as intrinsic to religion requires a fundamental critique of approaches of both religion and media that posit an opposition between media and immediacy.