The Bible, Social Media and Digital Culture  book cover
1st Edition

The Bible, Social Media and Digital Culture

ISBN 9780367787929
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
138 Pages

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Book Description

This book centres on the use of the Bible within contemporary digital social media culture and gives an overview of its use online with examples from brand-new research from the CODEC Research Centre at Durham University, UK. It examines the shift from a propositional to a therapeutic approach to faith from a sociological standpoint.

The book covers two research projects in particular: the Twitter Gospels and Online Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. It explores the data as they relate to Abby Day’s concept of performative belief, picking up on Mia Lövheim’s challenge to see how this concept works out in digital culture and social media. It also compares the data to various construals of contemporary approaches to faith performative faith, including Christian Smith and Melissa Lundquist Denton’s concept of moralistic therapeutic deism. Other research is also compared to the findings of these projects, including a micro-project on Celebrities and the Bible, to give a wider perspective on these issues in both the UK and the USA.

As a sociological exploration of Digital Millennial culture and its relationship to sacred texts, this will be of keen interest to scholars of Biblical studies, religion and digital media, and contemporary lived religion.

Table of Contents


1 The contemporary context of Bible engagement, especially in the UK and USA;

2 The Bible, Social Media and Digital Culture;

3 Popular Bible verses on social media;

4 Analysis/reflection;

5 Some potential contributory factors: performative belief, MTD and media ecology;

Conclusion: an ordinary canon within social media engagement?

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Peter M. Phillips is Research Fellow in Digital Theology and the Director of the CODEC Research Centre at Durham University, UK. He has many years of experience teaching and researching the New Testament and now explores the interface between the digital and theological.