Postprint version. Published in The Social Science Journal, Volume 45, Issue 4, December 1, 2008, pages 607-618.
© 2008 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2008.09.010.
Renewalist Christian ministries espouse a “Health andWealth” theology that is embraced by increasing numbers of believers. This study investigated leading renewalist ministries’WorldWideWeb sites to assess their application of visual, operational, and informational enhancements to communicate social order. A content analysis revealed a communication of social order that is consistent with prosperity theology. Much emphasis is placed on the appearance and personality of the ministry leader. Almost no attention is paid to traditional Christian symbolism. Web sites claimed the value of inclusiveness, but offered little visual representation of children, senior adults, the poor, and people of color. Sites communicated the importance of regular financial donations and product purchases, but offered no encouragement for local church attendance. This research provides limited insight into some key unanswered scholarly questions about use of the Web by religious organizations, but more work is needed to investigate these issues in a broader context.