Cultural Mysticism - A Theology of Popular Culture

Cultural Mysticism

Theology of Popular Culture | taught by Daughters of St Paul
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Daughters of St Paul
Daughters of St Paul

About the instructor

The Daughters of St Paul, #MediaNuns, are dedicated to living Christ and communicating Christ within the popular media culture. We are media literacy educators, writers, film reviewers, authors, and presenters on all areas of faith formation and media education. 

The Pauline Center for Media Studies, an apostolate of the Daughters of St Paul, seeks to develop and encourage media mindfulness within the context of culture, education, and faith formation. 

To contact her, please email at:, or call: 310-636-8385

Course Description

How do we follow Jesus in the media culture? It is about being mystics who see God's grace present in all human longings and desires and so offer the culture a soul. We can be that transformative presence in the world today, if we reflect on our incarnational and sacramental imaginations, letting Christ speak through us for a culture that seeks communion, connection and purpose. Sr. Nancy guides participants in a deeper theological reflection of how to be everyday mystics within this popular media culture and what that means for our spiritual lives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will develop the skills needed to have a critical awareness of the media they consume applying a media mindfulness strategy to various popular art forms.
  • They will recognize and appreciate the media as the main channels through which popular culture is communicated and critically analyze and evaluate its messages, ideologies, and ways of expressing the common human experience.
  • By grasping the aesthetics of beauty within a theological context, the students will develop an appreciation of various art forms, especially those that fuel the popular media culture.
  • They will learn to appreciate the media as gifts of God and articulate the elements for creating a dialogue between faith and popular culture by exploring various theological approaches to the culture.
  • Through a solid theological and anthropological foundation the students will be able to identify God’s grace at work in the popular culture through the many sacramental signs and symbols the media employ and so establish a theology of popular culture.

Useful Resources:

Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor. A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003.

Karl Rahner. The Mystical Way in Everyday Life. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis 2011.

Josef Cardinal Ratzinger. Introduction to Christianity. New York: Herder & Herder, 1970.

Course Contents

6 Videos
3 Texts
2 Disqus
2.0 hrs