Discovering the Digital Authority: Twitter as Reporting Tool for Papal Activities

Damian Guzek


This article focuses on Pope Francis activities on Twitter and understanding the way of using this kind of social media by religious authorities. By examining Francis’s tweets from half a year of his pontificate (from September 13, 2013 to March 16, 2014), the author offers an in-depth overview of methods for studying the presence of religious authority in the digital world. In fact, he faces both the rapidly growing Heidi Campbell’s Religious Social-Shaping of Technology analytic frame and the grounded theory approach. Conducting the research the author shows that Pope Francis’s Twitter can be treated as a good example of ‘religion online’ based on specific strategy to extend religious authority from the real to the virtual world.


Pope Francis, Digital Authority, Twitter, Tweets, Religion

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