Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
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
Vermeer, Alicia Suzanne. "Searching for God : portrayals of religion on television." MA (Master of Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2014.