Getting religion (close to) right on YouTube

Religion News Service | 1/3/2018 | Andrew Henry
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(RNS) — In early 2017, a series on CNN hosted by author and religion scholar Reza Aslan was dropped after six episodes following a controversial anti-Trump tweet by the host. But while “Believer” was still on the air, it was criticized for perpetuating stereotypes and overlooking important scholarship on the subjects it portrayed.

Since then, another educational series on religion has skated largely under the radar of scholars.

Crash - Course - Mythology - Part - Crash

Crash Course Mythology is part of the Crash Course YouTube channel that publishes educational series on topics commonly taught in high school, such as physics, literature and world history. Host Mike Rugnetta serves up a fun, accessible and cross-cultural introduction to world mythology. Video topics range from discussions of Greek or African pantheons to creation stories and apocalypses. You can even learn about Norse and Polynesian mythology with pop culture tie-ins like “Ragnarok” and “Maui.” While the series generally analyzes these myths as literature, much of the content addresses religious themes that students might encounter in a comparative religions course.

Crash Course Mythology is one of the most prominent series about religion on YouTube. Each episode draws up to 900,000 views, and more than 30 episodes have been published.

Popularity - Crash - Course - Mythology - Radar

Despite this popularity, Crash Course Mythology has barely registered on the radar of the scholars who criticized “Believer.” That suggests that we scholars have underestimated the potential of YouTube as a platform for educating about religion. Not only does YouTube almost exceed the entire daily viewership of traditional television, it also functions as a search engine. While the CNN series sat behind a paywall, Crash Course Mythology pops up as the first or second...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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