Миссия выполнима: православные батюшки-блогеры

Translated title of the contribution: MISSION POSSIBLE: RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST BLOGS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The paper dwells on the modern phenomenon of the clergy going online and exploring new audiences. The empirical study conducted by the author concerned the activities of popular Orthodox Russian-speaking bloggers whose heightening media presence is aimed at digital missionary work and catechism. The research was organized in accordance with the theoretical framework of the concept of communicative figurations that was coined by Andreas Hepp. This constructivist approach implies that mediatization blurs the borders between previously disentangled actors and encourages the growth of their interactions and, thus, a tighter social reality. To embody a communicative figurations-oriented study, the author lays down the methodological foundations that are able to express the nature of personal practices and the reflections on them. So, the methods consisted of case studies, expert and field interviews, and online text analysis. The findings can be set out in the following manner. Online media activity and social networking allow wider transparency and a wider span of audience. Despite stereotype and politicized doxa, the online demand for a specific niche of purely catechetic Orthodox priest blogging has existed for a decade and a half. Over the years, the media practices of missionary work, catechism, and preaching have been formed, mainly in such social networks as VK.com, LiveJournal, Instagram, and in YouTube channels. This dynamic has been growing: priest blogs have acquired the audiences of some tens of thousands of subscribers. It is due to the fact that priest offer a contemporary language when addressing the public for the purpose of missionary work and catechism. They attract an audience of the Russian-speaking network of actors that is diverse in age, gender, and country of residence. Seeing and aiming beyond the conservative confines of an offline parish and church, blogging priests have the opportunity to create their own audience - reach out to a particular generation, choose the style and content of a sermon or testimony of faith. In turn, the audiences choose priest bloggers according to their interests and the preferable ways of religious participation. Orthodox blogger priests strive to consolidate their efforts, to promote various forms of testimony of faith in the digital space. The central direct consequence of the mediatization of catechism and missionary practices is the promotion of a new image of a priest and a new version of the priest-layman interaction, both contributing to a new church construct.
Translated title of the contributionMISSION POSSIBLE: RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST BLOGS
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)44-59
JournalКонцепт: философия, религия, культура
Volume5
Issue number1 (18)
StatePublished - 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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