Media as a Means for Re-Christianization

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2011

19 Pages, Grade: 95


Table Of Contents


Table Of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Mass Media
2.1. Function of Media
2.2. Types of Media

3. Church and Media Today
3.1. Contrasts and Tensions
3.2. Tempting Attraction
3.3. New Beginning
3.4. Evangelical Enthusiasm
3.5. Through Troubled Waters
3.6. Attraction of Internet Evangelism in the Web World

4. Need for Re-Christianization

5. Mission of Re-Christianizing through Media
5.1. Challenging Situations for Re-Christianization
5.2. Stimulate a Public Dialogue of Faith
5.3. Christian all round Education and Development
5.4. Participation and Networking
5.5. Church’s Net Mission
5.6. Christ-Oriented Communication through Media
5.7. Christian Witness - Core of the Message
5.8. Uphold a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship to Re-Christianize
5.9. Authenticity of Life in the Digital Media

6. Conclusion



Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

The paradox of our times is that, “ we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We build more computers to hold more information. These are days of throwaway morality, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet and to kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window, and nothing in the stockroom. Indeed it’s all true.”

Today, what is the role of religion in the lives of the people? We are more attuned to secularism then religion. One would advise the other not to mix up religion with the secularism. Religion is considered to be altogether a different entity and whereby, secularism is left to be by itself. Values promoted by secularism are widely spread and dominant. Today ecclesiastical documents are hardly of use for any government proves. Some people do not give importance to Church documents since they are of very less value in the secular world. The broken marriages are settled or separated lawfully in the civil court than in the church. Corruption is the trend of profit making. Relationships are mostly getting better for business purpose.

We are trained to be polite and gentle for business relationships. This is exactly what is called de-Christianization in the world of today. We need to work ardently towards re-Christianization today by using the effective means of social digital communication. This paper attempts to show ‘Media as a means for re-Christianization.’

2. Mass Media

Are we bound to consider the two nouns, ‘mass’ and ‘media’, as given? What constitutes ‘mass’? What constitutes ‘media’? ‘Mass’ noun denotes something that usually cannot be counted, but is countable when it refers to units or types of something.[1] A mass is a lump of matter; the word itself conveys a notion of weight and quantity. It is more practical sense, related to weight, the word mass has been in the language for many centuries but used in its current sense it is rather recent. Until late in the nineteenth century, the prevalent word for evoking fear and suspicion was ‘multitude’ and, during the French Revolution ‘mob’ was a evocative word to characterize an unsteady, easy to mobilize crowd. But what concerns us more than etymology and early usage is the fact that the word, like any endlessly repeated term, has created a conviction. The idea of ‘mass’ has numbered our powers of observations. We believe we are in a mass society, which denotes the present meaning of the term ‘mass’.[2]

‘Media’ as noun is the main means of communication regarded collectively, both newspapers and broadcasting.[3] Originally, a medium is something lying in a middle or intermediate position – an agent, an object through which a purpose is accomplished.[4] In other words there are two poles or people and between them a medium like a telephone or a fax. Now-a-days, the media are the means by which information or entertainment is diffused. Two people behave differently depending on whether they talk by phone or send messages to one another.[5] Inasmuch as they inform, the media are part of the communication process; the special and unique process by which human communities are formed and in which they live. Today we use various means of communication.

When we think of media it is in connection with communication that we can think about. Therefore, the word ‘medium’ can have different meanings. It can mean the spoken, written, audio-visual, non-verbal language. It can also signify a text or message, formulated in a medium, like a story in a book, a song on the radio, a video clip on TV,[6] and different types of networking on computers, Internet and mobiles.

2.1. Function of Media

When we can look at media in our society today, we can say that it has five different functions; watchman, forum, teacher, entertainer and salesman. These functions foresee various uses. News dissemination, education, propaganda, indoctrinization, religious instructions, advertising, publicity determining are some of the uses of the media.[7] The main function of media is that it is at the best of the disposal of humans in relationship. It is a tool to best communicate with another in various and innovative ways.

Basic functions of the media can be further categorized into three: information, entertainment and advertising. Media gives the information and news about the happenings in the society. The function of media is also entertainment like folk media, which helps the family members and friends to relax and pastime. The most vital function of the media today is the advertisement. It helps in selling goods and services through sponsorships and commercials.[8]

Ranging from the printing press, through the radio, motion pictures, videos, films, television, telecom, computers and other basic medium of communication it has a great effect on the society today. Due to fast and rapid growth in media the whole world is becoming a single global village.[9]

2.2. Types of Media

Basic Media is the media that we use by the very nature of our existence. This media is more of personal, intra-personal and extra-personal in relationship with the other. This occurs in terms of basic human relationship. Knowingly or unknowingly we communicate in this medium and thus these media becomes the basic ones. These basic media is oral, written, language and art.

The innovative media begins with the invention of the printing press, which brought about a major change in the society. But all the more the innovativeness of human beings is visible with the higher and sophisticated form of media which we come across today. I call it innovative media because of the precise efforts that humans have made to invent these media and are still making efforts to progress in developing media technology. There are various types of media in this category.

The world is becoming a single village with the networking of the present electronic media. The electronic media provides us with a whole range of opportunities. We can be electronically connected anywhere virtually instantaneously. A satellite orbiting high above the equator had become one of the most coveted media properties.

Electronic media is redoing in this century what the print media did in the 15th century. The computerized electronic media has unbelievably challenged and changed the potentialities of the communication experience together with the style of learning the norm of truth, the structure of society, the role and rule of authority, and the value systems, world vision and life expectations. Looking at the bewildering and breathtaking changes caused by the electronic media, we are forced to say that this is not just another media revolution but a media explosion.[10] Be it radio, Television, telecom, computers or any other electronic medium, it has doubled up the spirit in the audience.

With the advent of new technologies like Internet, we are now enjoying the benefits of high technology mass media, which is not only faster than the old-school mass media, but also has a widespread range. Mobile phones, computers and Internet are often referred to as the new-age media. Internet has opened up several new opportunities for mass communication which include email, websites, blogging, Internet Radio, TV and many other mass media which are booming today.[11] The Internet[12] has profoundly influenced the way we communicate, do business, entertain ourselves and acquire information. It is already all-pervading and is going to increase its impact on our lives more and more. The internet can help family find educational resources, help children with their homework and allow family members to learn and have fun together.”[13]

3. Church and Media Today

Like any other systems, the Catholic Church has withstood and personalized to considerable changes, most especially in the twentieth century. These changes have been due to cataclysmic world events as well as the technology that incites, perpetrates, and communicates.[14] Though media is the most popular source of entertainment today, it is also a great molder of individual’s life, customs, culture, language, education and relationship. “The Church being spiritual and supernatural in essence yet rooted in earthly and historical reality cannot fail to interest herself in the media of mass communication.”[15]

The questions posed by the modern electronic and cyberspace media are of great concern for the Church today. Although the church in the early stages considered the developing media to have had negative impact on the lives of the people and caused people to drift away from the ideologies of faith and charity, because of which Church cautioned the faithful against the insidious attractions of the media. However, Church being the promoter of truth, justice and morality, the Church felt this as her duty and obligation. Today this attitude of the Church is quite different from what it was earlier. The creative and positive power of the media of effective communication and in the process the Church today promotes the utilization of the media for the execution of her missions. Media had become one of the primary forces of forming and guiding human life. Though Church looks at media with the hope of forming human life, it is a great concern of the Church today to look into the matter of media that affects the children and youth all over the world.[16]

3.1. Contrasts and Tensions

When we think of the Church and its development from early church to the contemporary, we see lot of difference and divergence. Church is a community of believers in Christ who come together to pray, praise, support, correct, care, offer sacrifice, receive the sacraments and is constant in the commitment of love and relationship with members. But if this coming together is substituted by broadcasting such events on television and Internet than the whole outlook will be different. There are many channels broadcasted by the Church in general, by the Church in India, by some pious associations, by prayer groups and even by some dedicated individuals.[17]

3.2. Tempting Attraction

The regionalism and its flavor of art, culture, language, dance, etc. are over looked and low estimated. With a constant projection of the influenced culture and lifestyle the weak and the poor themselves look down upon the jewels of their culture and aspire to become what they see. Today the computer makes electronic dots and numbers of persons, talents, emotions and relationships.[18]

3.3. New Beginning

Through the innovative media, mostly the electronic media of mass communication, the Church has found the new expression of its mission. Today the electronic communication is global, virtually instantaneous, and hundreds of millions can be simultaneously recipients of broadcast communications.[19] The church uses most of the innovative means of communication, like books, magazines, banners, pamphlets, circulars, radio, television, and internet to reach out to the people.

3.4. Evangelical Enthusiasm

The early Christians used papyrus to preserve their treasures of faith and passed it on to the faithful generations to come. As the media improved gradually in the third millennium it is radio, television and Internet that are predominantly used for evangelization. The books and manuscripts can be copied much faster and be circulated.

Every faithful can read, watch or see the necessary programmes for one’s faith that are available on the media of different types, although we would like to watch more on TV and computer. “Today there is good number of radio stations and networks that specialize in exclusive religious broadcasts… the large resources of Christian radio published on the internet are rather a new phenomenon. The links to other networks, syndicated radio programmes and individual stations are given on the Web pages.”[20] Every denomination, every local church, seems to be inspired to follow the example of those who already got into the field of religious broadcast which also makes them to be proud of and gives them prestige and status to have their own religious broadcast project.[21]

3.5. Through Troubled Waters

The religious broadcasting appeared to self-destruct in the wake of financial and sexual scandals that affected several major ministries towards the end of 1980s. The crisis developed more or less simultaneously with an economic shake-up that was destined to occur even if there had been no scandals, since the rising cost of airtime – which the televangelists themselves had created by bidding against one another for prime time in audience-rich markets.[22]

3.6. Attraction of Internet Evangelism in the Web World

We see hardly any space in the world left untouched by the Internet. “Internet evangelism is serious stuff – so serious that on May 1, 2002, Siam Rogers became the North American Mission Board’s first appointed Internet Missionary, commissioned to share and help others share the Gospel in cyberspace.”[23] However today the internet is the greatest means of communication could be in the secular and religious sphere. It is the most necessary and fastest means of communication. It is also the most attracting means of communication.


[1] Jonathan Metcalf (ed.): Illustrated Oxford Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 501.

[2] Pierre Sorlin: Mass Media. New York: Routledge, pp. 2-3.

[3] Jonathan Metcalf (ed.): Illustrated Oxford Dictionary, p. 505:

[4]Arthur Asa Berger: Media and Society - A Critical Perspective. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007, p.16.

[5] Pierre Sorlin: Mass Media, pp.2-3.

[6] Desmond A. D’Abreo: The Mass Media and You. Bandra: Better Yourself Books, 1997, p. 16.

[7] Jacob Srampickal: Communication of Media in India Today. New Delhi: Media House, 1998, p. 13 and also Cfr. Matthew Mamala: “Media Spirituality.” In Spirituality Today: Trends and Perspectives / Antony Kolencherry (ed.), Bangalore: IIS Publications, 2001, p. 72.

[8] Cfr. Keval J. Kumar: Mass Communication in India. 3rd edition. Bombay: Jaico Publishing House, 2009, p. 43-45.

[9] Cfr. Matthew Mamala: “Media Spirituality.” In: Spirituality Today: Trends and Perspectives / Antony Kolencherry (ed.). Bangalore: IIS Publications, 2001, p. 73.

[10] Cfr. John Edappilly: The Emerging Electronic Church. Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 2003 , pp. 18-19.

[11] Uttara Manohar: 16-10-2008.- Standing: 03-03-2010.- URL: - Elecronic Publications.

[12] Internet is a set of computers talking over fibre optics, phone lines, satellite links, and other media. All those who upload the material and use the Internet have the ownership on it. It does not have any one person as an owner of the Internet. Cfr. C. M. Paul: “Internet, Church and Social Communications.” In: Catechetics India 19, No. 1 (2002), p. 20.

[13] Joshva Raja and Jerry Kurian (eds.): Media Education: A Guidebook for School Teachers, pp. 99-100.

[14] Cfr. Marilyn J. Matelski: Vatican Radio: Propogation by the Airways. Wetsport: CT. Publication, 1995, p. 24.

[15] John Edappilly: The Emerging Electronic Church, p. 99.

[16] Cfr. John Edappilly , pp. 27-28.

[17] Cfr. John Edappilly , p. 28.

[18] Cfr. John Edappilly , p. 29.

[19] Cfr. John Edappilly , pp. 128-129.

[20] John Edappilly , p. 130.

[21] Cfr. John Edappilly , pp. 139-140.

[22] Cfr. John Edappilly , pp. 143-144.

[23] John Edappilly , p. 163.

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Media as a Means for Re-Christianization
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Albert Fernandes (Author), 2011, Media as a Means for Re-Christianization, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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