Demon hunters and hegemony: Portrayal of religion on the CW's supernatural

Erika Engstrom, Joseph M. Valenzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors analyze the religious themes and portrayals in the television program Supernatural, aired on the CW television network since 2005. As fictional entertainment programming, Supernatural incorporates various religions and lore into its episodes, which feature its protagonists fighting monsters, demons, and the occasional evil human. Findings from a content analysis of 60 episodes from the first 3 seasons illustrate a religious hegemony that forwards Catholicism, in the form of weapons used to fight evil, such as holy water, and depictions of priests, as the main and most powerful opponent of evil. Non-Catholic, "other" religions, and their associated villainous characters, in contrast, serve as distractions for the protagonists, thus contributing even more to their marginal stature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Media and Religion
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Religious studies

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