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Regina L. Burgess

Blogger motivations in general and motivations of religious bloggers have previously been studied, but there is a lack of studies specific to the motivations of bloggers who self-proclaim their Christianity to create a blog and maintain the blog. Forty-four bloggers participated in a self-administered survey questionnaire sent via email. They answered questions about their reasons to create a blog, original goals for their blog, and reasons to blog regularly. Motivations found in previous research were garnered from 11 studies, and the participants were asked to indicate which motivations resonated with them the majority of the time they blogged. They were asked to explain why the motive resonated with them. Results, not surprisingly, suggest these Christian bloggers were not motivated by the same motivations to the same degree as bloggers from previous research who are not vocal on their blogs about Christian, faith-based themes. The motivations such as community building, expressing opinions to influence others, or pouring out feelings and emotions do not seem to resonate as acutely with Christians as the motivations seem resonate with political- or corporate-oriented bloggers. Other motives such as documenting life, sharing thoughts out loud, entertaining self, or having a place to store their writings seemingly do not resonate with Christian bloggers as they do with other types of bloggers. These 44 Christians who blog are members of online Christian social, writing, and blogging groups, and are studied to see how being Christian might influence motivations for blogging, and explores reasons Christians have for creating media. This study also raises some interesting questions for future study such as why self-proclaimed Christians seem to have greater longevity for blogging than do authors of blogs with a non-religious focus.

Boys and Their Worship Toys

Christian Worship Technology and Gender Politics

James Fenimore

Edited by Kristine Suna-Koro

Amanda J. Haste

The Lord’s Prayer is a central text in Christian liturgy, generally recited rather than sung, often as a communal act of worship. The text has also provided inspiration for many musical settings, a process of ‘musicking’ [musikierung] which takes the text out of its traditional worship environment. The internet – and specifically video-streaming sites such as YouTube – are now providing a medium for the dissemination of stage, screen, studio and audio performances of the Lord’s Prayer as song, and these are now reaching – and speaking to – new audiences up to eighty years after they were made; the fact that individuals continue to post video and audio content of the Lord’s Prayer as song reflects their desire to share something which has moved them, whether musically or spiritually, with a worldwide audience.

In liberating the text from its liturgical context and releasing it as song into classical, jazz, rock, and pop performance arenas, many questions are raised about the transformation of textual meaning and ritual significance. The aim of this study is to examine the meaningfulness of the musico-textual setting for the receiver, firstly through the question of ownership of the text as a communal prayer, and secondly in arguing that perception and reception of the performer are contributory factors in the relative positivity or negativity of the receiver’s response. The research was carried out by examining a selection of the legion twentieth- and twenty-first-century musical settings of the Lord’s Prayer readily accessible through YouTube, using ethnographic data from on-line comments and from the author’s on-line survey of Christian worshippers to explore the issues raised by these musical settings. These include the perceived right of an individual to ‘perform’ a mutually-owned prayer; the loss of ritual functionality engendered by the ‘musicking’ of the text and its release into the popular domain; and the additional layers of meaning afforded to the text by gestures in performance, which can in turn lead to a transformation and renewal of ritual significance for the receiver. The inclusion of hyperlinks to YouTube video content throughout the article encourages the reader to engage with the performances themselves, from which it is hoped that a fruitful discussion of the issues will emerge.

Edited by Robin Gorsline