God's Comics : Religious Humour in Contemporary Evangelical Christian and Mormon Comedy
University of Sydney
This dissertation considers that negotiation through discourse analysis of religious humour found in examples of popular comedy collected from American evangelical Christian and Latter-day Saint (Mormon) communities. While humour in religious communities operates in similar ways to humour in general, this thesis argues that there are specific characteristics that indicate a unique kind of humour that may be called religious humour.
This study considers both mainstream and conservative religious humour as well as subversive reactions to that mainstream. Methodologically, this study is a multidisciplinary exploration that contributes to the disciplines of religious studies, humour studies and cultural studies. It aims to redress the gaps in religious studies about humour and in humour studies about religion. Incorporating literature from these areas as well as original data from textual analysis and field research this thesis critically analyses the experiences of believers who appreciate that their faith is not necessarily a barrier to their laughter.