Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Germanic Languages and Literatures

Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



This paper attempts to shed light on the phenomena of reenchantment that is taking place within contemporary media, using examples from current series as well as a theoretical background that is linked to religious or sacred theory arising from the field of sociology. In particular, the series Man in the High Castle, alongside the first season of True Detective, serve as the focus of analysis through the lens of Max Weber, Émile Durkheim and, as a representative of the Collège de Sociologie, George Bataille. Therefore I pursues the question of how the transformation of an initially enchanted world - following Weber - into a reenchanted world takes place within the chosen series. Alongside the theoretical background of Durkheim and the distinction of the sacred and the profane within his work of The elementary forms of religious life, as well as the ambivalence of the sacred sphere itself, depicted by Bataille, comes to the fore here. As such the thesis of the new visibility of the sacred as well as the arising phenomena of idolatry, that functions as a new momentum of the trope of reenchanted media - therefore a new access point in regards of the sacred within contemporary media - is negotiated here.


German (de)

Chair and Committee

Professor Matt Erlin

Committee Members

Professor Erin McGlothlin, Professor Jennifer Kapczynski


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