In this introduction and special issue we examine the role of contemporary media in the formation of religious communities, in particular when religious subjects, practices, and arguments are structured and enabled by processes of conflict and contestation, and by situations of marginality and war. Our belief is that to understand how religion, media, and politics intersect necessitates a close analysis of the forms and processes of circulation which in fact bring religion, media, and politics into being. Religions are constituted through an architecture of circulation and representation that it turn creates the pragmatic contexts for modes of practice and worship. It is through close attention to the materiality of religion forms – be they based in sound, image, or body – and their circulation as aesthetic and ritual forms that we can trace how religion becomes enfolded with the political. We assess how this assemblage of media, religion, and the political takes place.

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