Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2014

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Nabhan-Warren, Kristy

First Committee Member

Havens, Timothy

Second Committee Member

Curley, Melissa


The purpose of this study is to determine how youth and emerging adults use television as a platform to discuss religion and to express their religious, social, and political anxieties. Through a textual, genre, and audience analysis of three case studies--"Supernatural", "Battlestar Galactica", and "Joan of Arcadia"---this paper argues that the apocalypse genre is the most effective for attracting youth and young adult audiences. "Supernatural" and "Battlestar Galactica" each successfully used the apocalypse genre ("Supernatural as a sub-genre of fantasy, and Battlestar Galactica" as a sub-genre of science fiction) and had large young demographics. "Joan of Arcadia" was a teen soap opera/serial drama that used a realism narrative in its portrayal of religion, and was prematurely cancelled because it did not have the young audience that it's network desired. The apocalypse genre is attractive to youth and young adults, because it allows them to express their religious and social anxieties in a way that is less intimidating because the setting does not directly correlate with their society.


Religion, Television, Youth and Emerging Adults


v, 78 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 74-78).


Copyright 2014 Alicia Suzanne Vermeer

Included in

Religion Commons