Religious Authority and the Blogosphere

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Abstract

It is often argued that the internet poses a threat to traditional forms of authority. Within studies of religion online claims have also been made that the internet is affecting religious authority online, but little substantive work has backed up these claims. This paper argues for an approach to authority within online studies which looks separately at authority: roles, structures, beliefs/ideologies and texts. This approach is applied to a thematic analysis of 100 religious blogs and demonstrates that religious bloggers use their blogs to frame authority in ways that may more often affirm than challenge traditional sources of authority.

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