Facebooking religion and the technologization of the religious discourse: a case study of a Botswana-based Prophetic Church
PublisherHeidelberg University Publishing, heiup.uni-heidelberg.de/
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Technologization of discourse is generally conceptualized as a process of influencing people’s way of thinking through the use of certain linguistic strategies. In this process, power is exercised through the use of linguistic strategies that shape the construction of identity as well as socio-religious vision. This study analyzes the ways in which certain linguistic strategies and religious discourses used in Facebook posts, reviews and comments on a religion-based Facebook page create and shape the narratives of religious authority, religious identity and religious community. Using the Facebook page of a popular prophetic Christian church in Botswana, Gospel of God’s Grace (3G Ministries), as a case study, this study examines the following questions: in what ways can an active religion-based Facebook page reconfigure and provide a platform for religious practice? To what extent does the use of various linguistic strategies inform and shape religious discourses found in various Facebook postings and comments? And how does a religious Facebook page provide a venue for the discursive interpretation of religious authority, the negotiation of religious identity and the development of socio-religious vision?