New publication: “Cultural and Theological Influences on Religious Engagement with Digital Media during COVID-19: A Comparative Study of Churches in Poland and Ireland”

By Marta Kołodziejska, Sławomir Mandes and Katarzyna Rabiej-Sienicka “Religions” (Open Access; Link)

This article investigates how cultural context and theological ideas shape the integration of digital media in religious practices. Focusing on Poland and Northern Ireland/The Republic of Ireland, we explore the diverse strategies employed by religious institutions in utilizing digital media. The study centers on the Catholic Church, analyzing its responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in different cultural contexts. Examining various denominations specific to each country, we highlight the role of theological assumptions in shaping the use of digital platforms within religious contexts. This comparative analysis provides insight into the complex interplay between culture, theology, and technology, contributing to the understanding of how religious institutions adapt to societal changes and navigate the digital landscape. Our findings reflect the theological controversies of shifting religious practices and services to digital media, and point to the non-voluntary aspect of adjusting to the pressures of deep mediatization in both cultural contexts.