Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Communication Studies

First Advisor

John Durham Peters

First Committee Member

Kembrew McLeod

Second Committee Member

Sonia Ryang

Third Committee Member

Sujatha Sosale

Fourth Committee Member

Jenna Supp-Montgomerie


My dissertation explores how digital media have transformed ritual, community, and the meaning of church. My research focuses particularly on the SaRang Community Church, one of the largest Protestant churches in South Korea. I examine how a Korean megachurch adopt digital media to reach out to the public and promote itself. The questions I will answer include: How does a megachurch present religious messages using visual and audio effects? How do people perceive those mediated messages? How do they configure communities through media experience? How does the megachurch reconnect communities through media? Is a church a medium of Christianity? What relationship does the megachurch have with consumer culture?

While answering these questions, my dissertation focuses on the relationship between media and modernity. The dissertation picks three important themes: authenticity through media, nationalism and identity, and consumerism. To explain these issues through the lens of the transformation of the religious sphere in Korea, my dissertation examines (1) how the candle, an important symbol in Christianity, has been digitally represented, and how that representation has influenced rituals; (2) how digital media reconfigure various kinds of communities, as seen through the example of Korean Christian women’s daily religious practice; and (3) along with the development of digital media, how megachurches have grown in size, population, and social impact in Korea, a country well-known for its technological innovations and development. My overriding interest is in how religious rituals materialize through digital media.


authenticity, consumer culture, Diaspora, Digital media, Korea, megachurch


x, 204 pages


Includes bibliographical references.


Copyright © 2015 Jong In Chang

Included in

Communication Commons