This Independent Study aims to define and critically interrogate the phenomenon of satirized religion found in both British and American cultures within the works of Monty Python and South Park. Through audience research and content analysis, this study identifies the subtle yet important differences in how satire is conceived and received in each western culture. Mikhail Bakhtin’s Theory of the Grotesque, Henri Bergson’s Theory of Humor, Conrad Ostwalt’s Secularization Theory, Jean Baudrillard’s concept of Hyperreality, and Marshall McLuhan’s Theory of the Medium in Media provide an effective theoretical framework to analyze satirized religion within each franchise. Ultimately, this study’s analysis of satirized religion reveals the phenomena that American audiences are more likely to be offended by the content of religious satire, while British audiences are more likely to be offended by the form through which that satire is delivered.


Graham, Mark

Second Advisor

Tierney, Thomas


Religious Studies; Sociology and Anthropology


American Film Studies | American Popular Culture | Digital Humanities | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Religion | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Television | Visual Studies


religion, satire, South Park, Monty Python, American Culture, British Culture

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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