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UEA Public lecture to address media coverage of religion

 The media’s portrayal of religion and how it affects society’s perception of faith will be discussed at a University of East Anglia event (UEA) next week.

On Monday April 15 Prof Kim Knott from the University of Lancaster and Prof Jolyon Mitchell from the University of Edinburgh join UEA academics to discuss the representation of religion in print and other media.

The morning session, for students, will be an interactive workshop with the two guest professors supported by UEA’s Dr Eylem Atakav (School of Film, Television and Media Studies), Dr Lee Marsden (Politics, Social and International Relations), Dr Martin Scott and Dr Colette Harris (Development Studies).

The afternoon event is open to the public and will take the format of BBC Television’s Question Time, with questions generated from the morning session posed to a panel of UEA lecturers and students.

Colette Harris said: “We are finally realising the importance of acknowledging that religion is still a vital part of social and political life and that to ignore it is to miss much of what influences people, even those who aren’t actively religious.

“This makes it crucial that what the media tell us about religion either directly in the news or current affairs programmes or indirectly via video games and films should be carefully examined and critiqued rather than just taken for granted.

“This is the first event of its kind at the UEA and in fact one of only a few anywhere, so we’re delighted to have panellists joining us from across the country.”

Professor Knott teaches in religious studies and is currently a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow researching the role of ideologies, beliefs and commitments in people's motivations and justifications for violent and non-violent action at times of risk and uncertainty.

Professor Mitchell has worked as a producer and journalist for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4 before being appointed to the University of Edinburgh. As Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues he directs a number of research projects and helps to host a wide range of public lectures and events.

Students wishing to attend the morning session (11am-1pm) should email Holly Butwright at h.butwright@uea.ac.uk to express their interest. Members of the public are welcome to the afternoon session (2-4pm) and do not need to register. The event, which is free, will be held in the UEA’s Thomas Paine Study Centre foyer in the morning and in room ARTS 3.07 in the afternoon.