Social Networks and the Institutional Reinterpretation of Chilean Pentecostalism

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Patricio OLIVA, Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile
Pentecostalism is a religious movement, charismatic, highly active and militant. In South America and in Chile it has penetrated strongly in popular sectors of the population. Institutionally, it generates control over the social structure, the administration of religious knowledge, the discourse and actions of its members through the management of dogma, time and space (axis mundi) in its faithful. Currently, technological development has involved the generation of new scenarios where the formal religious institution is omitted, modifying the traditional religious scenario by the creation of new networks. The introduction into the churches of generations with higher education and the management of social networks has reconfigured a new type of virtual pentecostal.

Through the methodological framework of virtual ethnography, we analyze the semantic structuring (through analytical protocols and axial crosses) present in religious communities discourses expressed in forums, blog, social networks. Basic codes are identified, structured through theory and discourse. It describes the modifications of the fundamental dogmatic constructs, role generation and religious restructuring in a digital space and its implication in the construction of daily life.

The analysis of results evidences the existence of believers who attend religious ceremonies, but who participate actively in social networks building knowledge parallel to institutional. The use of networks incorporates neologisms into religious discourse, redefining the concept of divinity, authorities, church among others, suppressing or reinterpreting complex theological constructions of Pentecostal dogma. The reinterpretation is democratized and built in the form of wikis in forums and networks in an evolutionary, complex and radicular way. The behavior in the network is based on institutional criticism, conceptual reinterpretation, dogmatic modification and religious socialization. In the process, spontaneous Pentecostal virtual communities are configured and constantly restructured. It is not enough to constitute a cyber religion, but if it establishes an anomic network religious and virtual.