Coronavirus-driven digitalization of in-person communities. Analysis of the Catholic Church online response in Spain during the pandemic

Alba Sabaté Gauxachs, José María Albalad Aiguabella, Miriam Diez Bosch

Producción científica: Artículo en revista indizadaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

19 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

COVID-19 has driven several global offline communities to go online. Restrictions to the free movement of people in response to the coronavirus pandemic triggered a profound rethinking of jobs, products and services, and among them, the activities of religious communities, which are well consolidated in the offline sphere. In Spain, since the lockdown established by the government in March 2020, the Catholic Church has reinvented its activity, as all the churches and other places of worship have been closed. This constituted a considerable challenge, considering the history and dynamics of the institution. This paper aims to analyze how Catholicism, as one of the most consolidated offline communities, reworked its communication, going online in a matter of days. With this objective, researchers surveyed each and every one of the 70 Spanish dioceses, taking them as representatives of the global Catholic community in the country. Their responses are complemented with an in-depth interview with the Director of Communications at the Spanish Conference of Bishops. The results highlight the huge and unprecedented step towards the digitalization of the community through consistent, creative and efficient action. New methods, platforms and languages have been implemented, even broadening community membership. Despite an offline essence that is still detected in some decisions, this pandemic has brought a new communicative paradigm to the Spanish Catholic community. Digitalization has been consolidated whilst preserving the best aspects of direct contact and action.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo311
Número de páginas17
PublicaciónReligions
Volumen12
N.º5
DOI
EstadoPublicada - may 2021

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