Digitalization and the Catholic community

Digitalization and the Catholic community

Josh Edelman

Analysis | English | Poland

Dr Ewa Stachowska, Institute of Social Prevention and Resocialization, University of Warsaw.

In the springtime the Polish team is focused on work in two main areas. The first one is to prepare an article entitled Digitalization and the Catholic religious community in Poland, which revolves around the role and meaning of the process of digitalization in the Catholic community. The article includes an analysis of the preliminary results of the qualitative research conducted in this community. The Catholic Church is the largest denomination in Poland, hence the first of the articles presents results concerning this community. The process of digitalization is widespread in our times, and although in the Catholic community in Poland it is noticeable that not only the direct contact is approved of, the popularity of traditional media (such as the radio and TV) is also more visible, as it performed a crucial role in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital tools have been (and still are) a form of facilitating communication and information flow in the Catholic community. However, they are identified by the respondents as an instrument shaping the “digital sacred” to a smaller degree. It is worth noting that the aforementioned direction of perceiving digital tools is more noticeable among the older generations than among the young. What is more, the Catholic community in Poland is successively becoming a “senior community”, as secularization is accelerating especially among young people (which is shown in numerous research, e.g. carried out by PEW Research Center, CBOS – Public Opinion Research Center, ESS). An interesting thread emerging from the conducted research, which will undergo a broader analysis, is the fact that on the linguistic level the respondents perceive taking part in media rituals as “viewing”. This indicates a specific “oversimplification”, or even “trivialization” (cf. N. Postman) of participation in the media liturgy.

The second area of work undertaken by the Polish team concerns the preparation of papers for the 7th International Congress of Religious Studies, which will be held in Gdynia (Poland) from 19th-21st June 2024.[1] The Congress is a cyclical event in the circle of specialists of religious studies in Poland. This year its subject is: Religions. Tradition and Modernity. The engagement of the team during the Congress involves: participating in the scientific committee, coordinating the section of: Transformations of Religiosity and Non-religiosity in Sociological Research by Ewa Stachowska, delivering a paper entitled Minority Religious Communities and Digitalization in Poland. Moreover, arrangements are being made concerning the organization of a discussion panel Religion and Digitalization during the Congress.


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