Religious live-streaming: constructing the authentic in real time

Oren Golan, Michele Martini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem to the Kaaba of Mecca, many religious sites are webcasting in live-streaming. This study inquires how religious institutions act to shape users’ worldviews and negotiate meanings via live-streaming-mediated communication. Ethnographic fieldwork accompanied a case study of 25 in-depth interviews of the Canção Nova and the Franciscan Order’s recent media operation in the Holy Land. Findings uncovered three facets: (1) Evangelizing youth. (2) Establishing affinity towards the Holy Land. (3) Maintaining constant presence of the transcendental. Drawing on Walter Benjamin, proximity between believers and the divine via live-streaming is discussed and its implication for transforming the religious experience, establishing secondary authority in the Catholic world and propelling religious change in the information society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the editorial board and anonymous readers for their valuable comments and observations. In addition, the authors express their gratitude to Betsy Benjaminson for her careful editing and insightful suggestions on the manuscript. Support from the I-CORE program of the Israel Science Foundation (no.1716/12) is also gratefully acknowledged.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation [1716/12].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Holy Land
  • Live-streaming
  • Walter Benjamin
  • charismatic catholic
  • digital religion
  • monasticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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