This paper examines reviewers' reactions to Bill Maher’s documentary film Religulous as a way of beginning a discussion of media and religious hegemony. Hegemony theory posits that dominant ideology typically trumps contesting views, even when the latter do manage to leak through the system. Given this, one might expect that film reviewers serve as a second line of defense for entrenched worldviews. Here, however, a thematic analysis of reviews from major national newspapers reveals that critics provided only slight support to traditional religious views Maher challenges in his filmic plea for agnosticism.
This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Media and Religion, Volume 10, Issue 2, 91-112. Journal of Media and Religion is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com. DOI: 10.1080/15348423.2011.572440
Moore, Rick Clifton. (2011). "Bombing at the Box Office: Reviewers’ Responses to Agnosticism in Bill Maher’s Religulous". Journal of Media and Religion, 10(2), 91-112.