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Themes raised in chapter 5 are developed further in chapter 6 on “enchanted” rather than “modern-rational” forms of expertise. This chapter turns to religious, spiritual, and supernatural life advice television in India and Taiwan to explore the distinctive counternarratives of modernity that emerge there from the confluence of religious, supernatural beliefs and late modern media cultures. While religious programming is banned by the state in China, in India and Taiwan, a variety of gods, sages, sacred texts, and rituals are presented to and interpreted for viewers to help them manage the challenges of escalating risk, transcendent meaning, and collective affiliation in times of rapid social change. This chapter considers what is historically and locally specific about the interpenetration of religious and supernatural belief systems and contemporary media cultures, as well as how spiritual elements shape both the genre(s) of lifestyle advice TV and the forms of identity it projects in these countries.

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