Am having one of those days where I keep getting very easily distracted. Am doing some textual analysis and it’s both interesting and utterly tedious. The programmes themselves and what I am getting from them for the thesis are interesting. The process of writing it all down is beyond dull, and the only thing worse is writing out quotes from books.
Watched episode two of Christianity: A History and now watching Around the World in 80 Faiths pt 2. What’s interesting about both, which is a theme in many of the programmes I’ve watched is the whole ‘this is my truth’ thing – plurality and subjectivity are the order of the day. Now, that’s fine, in a broadcasting sense, as it’s about educating people about different perspectives and practices, but it does leave the programmes and presenters open to accusation of fence-sitting and bet-hedging.
I’m not sure how else you could do it – religious or atheist polemics on the telly aren’t really what any of us want, are they? Do we want dogma coming at us through our tellybox? Probably not. So pluralism and relativism has to be the order of the day. But it also sits at odds with the fact that the people being covered in most of the programmes, be they believers or not, are clearly not relativists, and although there are the extremists we’re meant to boo at, there are plenty of others portrayed sympathetically. But it’s a conundrum. If you show that all religions and none are OK and have good things and truths about them then you’re negating that many of them claim to be the only viewpoint, aren’t you? It’s kind of a catch-22.
Hmmm. Wonder how I can make these thoughts more academically articulate and perhaps get some of this into my interviews…