In order to begin building a vocabulary for how to isolate the religious dimension of popular culture, this chapter will introduce several key concepts from Paul Tillich's theology of culture. These concepts will serve as scaffolding from which to reach into the work of other theologians and scholars of religious studies who offer deft refinements of the concepts, both dependent upon and independent of Tillich's formulations. Only the most basic concepts will be assembled here, pulling together some essential tools to conduct the inquiry that lies ahead. The concepts: ultimate concern, the holy, moral and ontological faith, ecstatic revelation, religious symbols, myths, liminality, and three different modes of religion.
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