Religious Communication and Epistemic Authority of Leaders in Wired Faith Organizations

Pauline Cheong, Shirlena Huang, Jessie P H Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mediation of communication has raised questions of authority shifts in key social institutions. This article examines how traditional sources of epistemic power that govern social relations in religious authority are being amplified or delegitimized by Internet use, drawing from in-depth interviews with protestant pastors in Singapore. Competition from Internet access is found to delocalize epistemic authority to some extent; however, it also reembeds authority by allowing pastors to acquire new competencies as strategic arbiters of religious expertise and knowledge. Our study indicates that although religious leaders are confronted with proletarianization, deprofessionalization, and potential delegitimization as epistemic threats, there is also an enhancement of epistemic warrant as they adopt mediated communication practices that include the social networks of their congregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-958
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

faith
Internet
leader
communication
Communication
deprofessionalization
proletarianization
social institution
Social Relations
Singapore
mediation
social network
expertise
threat
Faith
Religion
Epistemic Authority
interview
Pastors
Authority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Religious Communication and Epistemic Authority of Leaders in Wired Faith Organizations. / Cheong, Pauline; Huang, Shirlena; Poon, Jessie P H.

In: Journal of Communication, Vol. 61, No. 5, 10.2011, p. 938-958.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cheong, Pauline ; Huang, Shirlena ; Poon, Jessie P H. / Religious Communication and Epistemic Authority of Leaders in Wired Faith Organizations. In: Journal of Communication. 2011 ; Vol. 61, No. 5. pp. 938-958.
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