Religion and Film

Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date

Spring 4-28-2024


Film and Media Studies | Music | Religion | Women's Studies

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

This paper explores the ways in which the culture surrounding pop music superstar Taylor Swift is a religion. Taylor Swift has had an indelible impact on her fans, who are known as Swifties, and this paper brings attention to the ways that she establishes a strong connection with her fans such that they come to view her as a religious figure. Definitions of religion proposed by scholars Clifford Geertz and Meghan Johnston Aelabouni are used to analyze how this popular music culture can fit into a broader conceptualization of religion. Special attention is given to the deification of celebrities in the pop music industry and the ramifications that fame can have on celebrities like Taylor Swift, who are constantly in the public eye. A comparison to the film Vox Lux (2018) highlights the struggles that women in the music industry face due to immense societal pressure. Due to her resilience and her strong willpower, Taylor Swift has managed to maintain her sense of identity and humanity despite countless obstacles, and she serves as a figure of female empowerment. She continues to inspire women around the world by speaking out against the patriarchal system and advocating for artists' rights. This paper provides a critical analysis of these issues and Taylor Swift's important role in society as a means of evaluating pop music culture and celebrity idolization.