Minorities and the Media
Latest news and updates
About the project
The analysed churches
How we work
Latest news and updates
Meeting of the research team in Warsaw
Conference “Religious Identity and the Media. Methods, concepts, and new research avenues”
Second round of interviews finished
Second round of interviews
Dr. Łukasz Fajfer held a paper at Fifth Congress for Polish Studies.
Dec. 18th – 20th, 2019. Team meeting and workshop with external experts took place at the University of Bremen.
Dr. Łukasz Fajfer will hold a lecture at Martin Luther University in Halle (Saale) on December 10th.
Participation of the polish project team at the 17th Sociology Congress in Wrocław from 11 to 13 September.
About the project
Media have always played a crucial role for religious communities. Christianity could spread i.a. due to duplicating of the Bible just like Islam could, thanks to copying of the Quran. Furthermore, the influence of the printing press on the Reformation movement is undisputed.
In our project we research the role of the contemporary media for modern religious communities. We concentrate on the digital (webpages) and on the printed media (journals, newspapers). We aim to answer the following questions: Who is responsible for the media in particular churches? How is the media content prepared? How do the churches understand their identity nowadays?
We are not only interested in the media use of the churches, but we also ask for the role of the different cultural and religious contexts in the process of media use. That is the reason why we conduct a comparative study. We analyse the churches in Poland – a country with a homogenous religious structure – and in Great Britain with a heterogeneous religious landscape. Moreover, our study concerns two different communities: the Orthodox Churches and the Seventh-Day Adventist Churches. We hope that this approach will make it possible to answer the question of how the religious identity is influenced by the media and by the religious landscape in a country.
How we work
During the first phase of our project, we analyse the printed and digital media of the selected churches. In the second phase, we conduct interviews with media representatives of the particular churches.
It is crucial for our project that besides the official representatives of the churches (priests, bishops) we also want to talk to media representatives, editors and spokespersons. This way, we are able to get to know the individual opinions on religious identity and to gather information on the media work in particular churches. The interviews will be anonymised and used in this form for our publications.
The project is conducted by two research teams: one at the University of Bremen and one at the Polish Academy of Sciences. The study is financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and by the National Science Centre (NCN) from the German-Polish Beethoven 2 program. The financial support was granted for three years until March 2021.
In Germany the research team is based at the University of Bremen (Institute of Religion and Religious Education) and it consists of Prof. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler (head of the project) and Dr. Łukasz Fajfer (research associate). The Polish team works at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The team members are: Prof. Dorota Hall (head of the project) and Dr. Marta Kołodziejska (research associate).
Prof Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler
Department of Religious Studies
Universitätsboulevard 18 / SP T
T. +49 (0)421 218 67911
Dr. hab. Dorota Hall
Polish Academy of Sciences
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology
Nowy Świat 72, room 236
phone: +48 22 657 28 57
Dr Łukasz Fajfer presented a paper in Tartu, June 27th, 2019
Dr Łukasz Fajfer took part at the conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions that took place June 25th to 29th, 2019 in Tartu, Estonia. He presented a paper entitled “Discourse Analysis as a method for analyzing webpages of religious organizations. A Case Study of the Polish Orthodox Church.” In this paper he discussed the methodological issues while dealing with the media material analysed within the project Minorities and the Media. He argued that the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse analysis – although having some limitations – may be used as a tool of analysis for the Church websites. The strength of this method lies particularly in its usefulness for unpacking of interpretative schemes and narrative structure of the discourse constructed at the webpages.
First round of interviews completed!
Our team have already conducted a number of interviews with the representatives of the analyzed Churches. We have conducted 16 interviews with people engaged with the media of Seventh Day Adventist Church in Great Britain and Poland. We have also conducted 12 interviews with priests and lay people from the Orthodox Churches in these countries. Our work concentrates now on the analysis of the gathered material.
"Methods of Collecting Data and Media in Religious Minority Groups"
On november 29th and 30th the first team workshop of the research project "Religious Minorities and Media" took place at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of Polish Academy of Sciences. During the very productive meeting, the project team discussed methodological approaches to the collected material, debated key theoretical perspectives, and analysed the samples material in the context of religious organizations and minority status in Poland and in the UK.
The next workshop will take place at ZeMKI Bremen in 2019.