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The attached document is a proposal for a yet-completed study to be considered for inclusion in the upcoming Annual Conference on Information and Religion by Roger Chabot, a PhD student at Western University in London, Ontario.
Reel Religion and Real Clergy: A Comparison of Information Use by the Fictional and Factual Faithful06/05/2015
Reel Religion and Real Clergy: A Comparison of Information Use by the Fictional and Factual Faithful
A proposal by:
Marianne Ryan, Associate University Librarian for Public Services at Northwestern University Library
Mark Stover, Dean of the Library at California State University, Northridge
Annual Conference on Information and Religion
Kent State University
From its inception, cinema has been used to portray the information seeking and dissemination practices of clergy and, by extension, to present perspectives on religion and religious organizations. Initially fairly simplistic, these depictions of priests, ministers, rabbis, and nuns have become more sophisticated over time, keeping pace with changing social mores and evolving technologies.
In this session, presenters will explore this aspect of how clergy are portrayed in film. They will examine a decade-by-decade sample of cinematic clergy and suggest how these figures searched for, received, and shared information. The presenters will compare film depictions of information use behavior among clergy with analogous practices among actual faith-based professionals. They will also explore ways in which clergy in the movies used information (and information technology) in their roles in ways which may have influenced viewers’ perceptions of religion and religious groups.
Clergy; Cinema; Information Technology
The purpose of this paper is to provide a launching point, or discussion of some possible frameworks for conceptualizing the intersection of information seeking in on- and off- line mediated religious environments, using internet enabled apps such as the YouversionTM Bible. The author would like to note that this paper is a work in progress and not a finished product. Due to the breadth and complexity of the subject, this paper serves to highlight what the author perceives to be some key issues in the developing world of the Internet of Things (IOT) and brings together ideas, ruminations, and a possible conceptual framework. Much of this topic deserves further exploration beyond the attempted scope of this paper.