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

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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