Journal Article

"We are a United Humanity": Death, Emotion and Digital Media in the Church of Sweden

Publication

Abstract

This article seeks to bring together the study of death, digital media, emotion and religion, using a Christian organization as a case study. The Swedish national church (Svenska kyrkan) has a large but declining membership and uses digital media extensively. We will analyze two of its attempts to respond to grief through media: a hybrid digital-physical technology installation during the Allhelgona (All Saints') weekend in Swedish cemeteries and a series of posts about death and sadness on Facebook. In both projects, the Church presents emotion as a universal shared experience that unites all humanity, using this discourse to bring together its religious and non-religious audiences.

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About the Author

Timothy Hutchings

Dr Hutchings is a sociologist and ethnographer of digital religion. His research explores new digital forms of authority, community and ritual, the relationship between online and offline activity, and the role of media technologies in social chan... Read more

Reference

Hutchings, T. (2017). "We are a United Humanity": Death, Emotion and Digital Media in the Church of Sweden. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 63(1), pp. 90-107. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08838151.2016.1273930 [Accessed 24 Nov. 2017]. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2016.1273930.