It’s a rainy holiday Monday and therefore a perfect day to be at home reading through the articles I have located.

My work in the last few weeks has focused on some of the administrative tasks I need to perform. I’d be interested in understanding how a full time student’s time might be broken down into admin/ teaching/ research over the course of their three years.

I had 48 hours as a student in Loughborough a couple of weeks ago. I attended a training course on ‘What is a literature review?’ which when I booked it, in February, I thought would be a box-ticking exercise as I’d have written most of the review by then. That turned out to be a wildly optimistic thought and so the course was a very helpful way of thinking about the approach I could take. I also went to a compulsory induction day; again, I thought this would be mostly irrelevant but it did help to clarify some of the administrative hoops I have to jump through.

Since then I have been reading; thinking about my research questions and trying to formulate them clearly; also drafting a second and better set of headings for the literature review. Here’s where I am at so far:

Review headings

How do Churches make use of internet technology to inform and for communication?
Enthusiasm – collection of quotes saying how marvellous the internet is.

1. Religion online
a) Definitions and discussions

b) Feasibility

c) Christianity and other religions

2. Replicating church online

a) Major projects

b) Rituals online

3. Churches using the internet

a) What are they using it for?

b) How and why?

b) Christianity and other religions

Research questions, aims and objectives

Research questions

  1. To what extent do churches see themselves in a role as online information providers? What kind of information is being published and why?
  2. To what extent are churches engaging with the internet and new media channels of communication?
  3. To what extent are UK-based internet users connecting online for religious purposes? Are existing communities being enhanced, new ones established or is there a mixture of both?
  4. To what extent is the internet, with its perceived lack of boundaries and unregulated content seen as an appropriate medium of communication by the established Church?

Aims and objectives

  • Evaluate the content, currency, and prevalence of UK church websites:

Investigate and assess existing methodologies for evaluation
Assess and develop content analysis framework

  • Assess the Church’s attitude towards the internet; its facilitation or otherwise of Web 2.0 initiatives and authority views on these initiatives.

Investigate online community participation in the UK, establish baselines for the level of interaction and compare and contrast this with faith-based communities.