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Religious live-streaming: constructing the authentic in real time

TitleReligious live-streaming: constructing the authentic in real time
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGolan, O, Martini, M
JournalInformation, Communication & Society

From the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem to the Kaaba of Mecca, many religious sites are webcasting in live-streaming. This study inquires how religious institutions act to shape users’ worldviews and negotiate meanings via live-streaming-mediated communication. Ethnographic fieldwork accompanied a case study of 25 in-depth interviews of the Canção Nova and the Franciscan Order’s recent media operation in the Holy Land. Findings uncovered three facets: (1) Evangelizing youth. (2) Establishing affinity towards the Holy Land. (3) Maintaining constant presence of the transcendental. Drawing on Walter Benjamin, proximity between believers and the divine via live-streaming is discussed and its implication for transforming the religious experience, establishing secondary authority in the Catholic world and propelling religious change in the information society.