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A Comparative Analysis of Traditional and Modern Modes of Religious Preaching

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Religious preaching is a means for the transfer of religious messages and to create and modify the attitudes and trends of followers. Transferring a message is achieved either on a macro level or on a micro level. The latter can be conveyed face-to-face while media often present the former directly or indirectly. Traditional preaching has been functional in traditional societies and in that it has been able to affect emotions and minds and through forming a social and communication network, has directed the religious society. In this method, speech holds the religious message; but the preacher also conveys religious emotions and feelings and because there is mostly face-to-face communication, human relations are formed among the audience.

However, the modern media preaching, although more widespread, is less profound, usually causing no direct feedback while communicating with the audience who may not know each other. Thus, in spite of enjoying a larger audience and a variety of attractive methods, it seems it cannot build a recognizable human and communication network in the short term and may not be able to affect human and religious emotions in a deep and lasting way.

Based on the above, it appears that contemplating the methods to apply the modern media to preach religion (emphasizing the believers' concerns and sensitivities), revising these methods (to make them suited to the believers' concerns and sensitivities), and theorizing for the new conditions of the religious society based on the capabilities of the modern media, are among the crucial issues.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of Tehran, Iran


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