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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

2 - Religious Discourse as Data


This chapter focuses on giving theoretical and methodological frameworks for dealing with religious discourse. While religious discourse can be observed in a variety of places, given the focus of this research on language-in-use and the development of religious belief and practice in these contexts, public dialogues about religion, in both supportive and antagonistic settings, are used as the primary data in this study. The data represents the ways in which speakers, foregrounding their religious identity, speak about religious belief and practice together, with a focus on instances in which the speakers are addressing challenges to the beliefs posed by social changes, such as those about homosexuality. Data sources were identified as a part of an ongoing, ten-year longitudinal observation of religious users online following principles of Discourse-Centred Online Ethnography and describing the changes in systems in interaction over time, following the principles of a Discourse-Dynamics Approach and discourse analysis using Positioning Theory.

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