Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Professor finds correlation between religion and the marketplace

Delivering class lectures and the seemingly unending stack of papers waiting to be graded are enough to bog down a typical college professor. Unlike most, mass communication Assistant Professor Lynn Schofield Clark has found time to write a plethora of books, including her latest, Religion, Media, and the Marketplace (Rutgers, 2007).

Clark’s book focuses on the infiltration of religion into the media in a subtle yet increasingly noticeable way. Topics focus on how politics and religion combine to shape public policy, how consumer products influence various faiths and ways religious and secular views intersect. 

“I think it’s impossible to study religion today without looking at how it’s related to what’s expressed in the media and what is sold in the marketplace,” Clark says. 

Through her studying of religious groups and their prevalence in the commercial culture, she found what she called in her book, “the emergence of the religious lifestyle branding.” Clark believes our society expresses who we are by what we buy.

Clark is working on her next book, delving into the topic of digital technology and the generation gap. 

Although much of her time is spent doing research, she finds time to fulfill the role as director of DU’s Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media.

Prior to her arrival at DU last fall, she was an assistant research professor at the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She also worked as a writer and producer for television programs on HGTV and the Hallmark Channel before her university career. 

Clark hopes her book, Religion, Media, and the Marketplace, will make people think about religion and how it has an influence on society.

“I’m excited that there are more and more scholars who are interested in looking at these connections between religion, media and the marketplace,” Clark says, “and I hope my book can contribute to this conversation.”

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