JRFM publishes articles in English that focus on visual and audio-visual media, feature films, documentaries, advertising, interactive internet-based media and other media of communication and their interaction with contemporary or historical forms of religion. It critically reflects on theories and methods, studies on intermediality, and phenomenological and comparative approaches to media and religion across different cultures and periods. The main focus lies on contemporary phenomena, but diachronic analysis of the interaction between film, media and religion is also promoted as an essential facet of study. The journal also focuses on the transmission of visual and audio-visual media on the internet, which has significant impact on the reception processes of feature films, art and music in relation to religion.
JRFM is an online, open access publication with print-on-demand as an option. It appears twice a year in May and November and includes generally articles in a thematic section and an open section, as well as media reviews.
JRFM provides immediate open access.
The idea of JRFM dates back to 2013. Christian Wessely (University of Graz) and Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati (then University of Zurich, today LMU Munich) developed the project of a peer-reviewed, open access online journal to offer a platform for discussion in the field of media and religion in Europe and elsewhere. Soon Bärbel Beinhauer-Köhler (University of Marburg), Anna-Katharina Hoepflinger (then University of Zurich, today LMU Munich), Stefanie Knauss (Villanova University), Marie-Therese Mäder (LMU Munich/University of Macerata), Alexander D. Ornella (University of Hull) and Davide Zordan (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento) joined to form the editorial board.
As a competent partner in publishing an academic journal on media and religion, the Schüren Publishing House (Marburg, Germany) was chosen for the print-on-demand version.
The first issue of JRFM was published in November 2015. In March 2016, Philippe Bornet (University of Lausanne) joined the editorial board as the successor of Davide Zordan, who died too early, on October 25, 2015. In 2018, Natalie Fritz (Catholic Media Centre Zurich) joined the editorial board.