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Iris D. Hartog, Michael Scherer-Rath, Tom H. Oreel, Justine E. Netjes, José P.S. Henriques, Jorrit Lemkes, Alexander Vonk, Mirjam A.G. Sprangers, Pythia T. Nieuwkerk and Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven

Abstract

The theoretical model: ‘Narrative meaning making and integration of life events’ hypothesizes that life events such as falling ill may result in an ‘experience of contingency’. Through narrative meaning making, this experience may be eventually integrated into patients’ life stories, which, in turn, may enhance their quality of life. To contribute to our understanding of this existential dimension of falling ill and to further validate the theoretical model, we examined the relationships among the concepts assessed with the RE-LIFE questionnaire.

Two hypothesized mediation models were assessed using regression-based serial multiple mediation analysis. Model 1, assessing the influence of ‘experience of contingency’ on ‘acknowledging’, was significant and showed partial mediation by indirect influences through ‘negative impact on life goals’ and ‘existential meaning’. Model 2, assessing the influence of ‘experience of contingency’ on ‘quality of life’, was also significant, with a full mediation by the variables ‘negative impact on life goals’, ‘existential meaning’ and ‘acknowledging’. In conclusion, several hypothesized relationships within the theoretical model were confirmed. Narrative meaning making and integration significantly influence people’s self-evaluation of their quality of life.

Mia Lövheim and Stig Hjarvard

During the last decade the framework of mediatization theory has been introduced in the field of media, religion and culture as a parallel perspective to the “mediation of religion” approach, allowing new questions to be posed that align with religious change within Europe. This article provides a critical review of existing research applying mediatization of religion theory, focusing on key issues raised by its critics as well as how the theory have moved the research field forward. These issues concern the concept of religion, institution and social change, religious authority, and the application of mediatization theory outside the North-Western European context where it originated. The article argues that an institutional approach to mediatization is a relevant tool for analyzing change as a dynamic process in which the logics of particular forms of media influence practices, values and relations within particular manifestations of religion across various levels of analysis.

Lynn Schofield Clark and Angel Hinzo

To explore the role of contestation in mediatization processes, this article utilizes digital and visual methods to analyze instances of Indigenous digital survivance. Focusing on recent examples at the heart of the #NoDAPL movement allows us to flesh out and argue for a decolonizing approach to the study of mediatization, which we define, following Clark (2011), as the process by which collective uses of communication media (1) extend the development of independent media industries and their circulation of narratives, (2) contribute to new forms of action and interaction in the social world, and (3) give shape to how we think of humanity and our place in the world. The article therefore concludes with suggestions regarding the further development of methodological approaches to studying processes of mediatization in relation to contestations over normative claims and pragmatic concerns regarding the role of media systems in our collective future.

Mona Abdel-Fadil

Affect theory often overlooks decades of anthropological, feminist, queer, and postcolonial scholarship on emotion. I build on this extensive scholarship of emotion and use my online ethnography of a Facebook group that promotes the public visibility of Christianity as a springboard to build a conceptual framework of the politics of affect. I address three theoretical gaps: 1) the lack of distinction between different emotions, 2) how affect is often performed for someone, and 3) the varying intensities of emotion. I delve into the intricate ways in which emotions fuel identities, worldviews, and their contestations, and how fake news may come to be perceived as affectively factual. This article deepens our understanding of the role of affect in polemic and mediatized conflicts. The role of emotion in religious conflicts and identity politics is not simply analytically useful, but is, at times, the very fabric of which political ideas are made.

Yanshuang Zhang

The proliferation of social media in China has provided traditional religious authorities with multifarious digital features to revitalise and reinforce their practices and beliefs. However, under the authoritative political system different religions pick up the new media to varying degrees, thereby showing different characteristic and style in their social media use. This paper examines the public discourse about Buddhism and Christianity (two of the great official religions in China) on China’s largest microblogging platform-Sina Weibo, and seeks to reveal a distinct landscape of religious online public in China. Through a close look at the social media posts aided by a text analytics software, Leximancer, this paper comparatively investigates several issues related to the Buddhism and Christianity online publics, such as religious networks, interactions between involved actors, the economics and politics of religion, and the role of religious charitable organizations. The result supports Campbell’s proposition on digital religion that religious groups typically do not reject new technologies, but rather undergo a sophisticated negotiation process in accord with their communal norms and beliefs. It also reveals that in China a secular Buddhism directly contributes to a prosperous ‘temple economy’ while tension still exists between Christianity and the Chinese state due to ideological discrepancy. The paper further points out the possible direction for this nascent research field.

Seyedeh Behnaz Hosseini

This article presents a nuanced approach for qualitative research on the Internet, based on the synthesis of qualitative data-gathering methodologies both online and offline, and contributes to recent knowledge of changing practices within Yārsāni communities around the world. Yārsān is a religious belief of Indo-Iranian origin that traces back to Hooraman, a region in Iranian Kurdistan. Yārsān thought, which Islamic Shiite authorities treat as heretical, has extensively used processes of adaptation and strategies of survival throughout the course of its history.

The research presented here makes a case for the significance of the Internet and, more specifically, social network sites in connecting Yārsānis in their homelands and in the diaspora. How does Facebook provide a new space for this minority group to disclose their beliefs to the world, thereby reassessing the clandestine nature of their religion, which is a tenet required by traditional belief and defined by their adage, “don’t tell the secret”?

Polikarpos Karamouzis and Emmanuel Fokides

This study analyzes the profile of Greek university students who will be teaching courses related to religion when they become practitioners at primary school and high school level, in relation to their views on technology. For this purpose, four factors were examined: religious beliefs, use of technology, attitude towards technology, and their views regarding the use of technology for the dissemination of religious beliefs. The sample comprised of 570 students studying at Departments of Theology and Primary School Education at Greek universities. The data analysis revealed that participants, in general, are not highly religious. Both believers and non-believers seem to have a positive attitude towards technology, which they are willing to use in an educational context. Furthermore, they do not believe that religion and technology contradict each other. The implications of the findings are also discussed.