Revisiting Benjaminʼs aura in the age of mediatisation–the digital aura of megachurches

Journal article


Tran, M.K. and Davies, A. Revisiting Benjaminʼs aura in the age of mediatisation–the digital aura of megachurches. Journal of Marketing Management. 39 (17-18), pp. 1765-1799. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2023.2289369
AuthorsTran, M.K. and Davies, A.
Abstract

This study employs Walter Benjamin’s aura framework as a theoretical lens to look at religious consumption in virtual worlds, via a case study of the London megachurch Kingsway International Christian Centre. Findings suggest inter-personal authenticity contributes to authenticity in online religious consumption and emphasise the need to re-sacralise space and de-sanctify time to help congregant-audiences access sacred experiences. We also highlight the importance of re-mooring traditions and transformable rituals in replicating essential components of real-world worship gatherings through media and technologies. Proposing that the digital imbues its own aura, we develop the concept of ‘digital aura’, characterised by hypermediacy in media usage and remediation, which leads to the refashioning of certain practices and, ultimately, changes the way that audience members engage in ritual events.

Keywords Religion; aura; authenticity; space; ritual; digital platforms
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Journal citation39 (17-18), pp. 1765-1799
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1472-1376
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2023.2289369
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2023.2289369
Publication dates
Print12 Dec 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Sep 2023
Deposited16 Jan 2024
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Open
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Safeguarded
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