"Å være kirke på nett". En sosialsemiotisk undersøkelse av nettpresentasjonene til de skandinaviske folkekirkene
This article examines the official web presentations of the majority churches in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. These three Scandinavian folk churches experience a decline in membership and are challenged by religious change as well as changes in the media landscape. The textual representations of the three websites are studied using tools developed within social semiotics and systemic functional grammar. The aim of the article is to gain new insights into how the churches choose to communicate with the public, and in particular how the role of the churches is constructed in the web presentations. Although there are some variations, the findings suggest that the web sites are mainly used to present information about the churches and their activities, and not to evangelize or to provide an opportunity for sharing religious beliefs and practices. By examining the speech acts, we see how the speaker mainly, but not exclusively, takes on the role of supplier of information, and thereby requiring the listener to adopt the complementary role of receiver. The extent to which the putative reader is constructed as someone who shares the Christian faith varies, and might, in part, be dependent on the membership numbers of the respective church.
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