ABSTRACT

Whether still or moving, clicked, liked, uploaded, or forwarded, digital images have become powerful mechanisms for curating cultural imaginaries in the current context of globalized communication networks. The image has become a visual shorthand for a complex tangle of social issues. Meanwhile, there is a long tradition of religious communities negotiating constructions of the sacred through visual means. This paper analyzes how the sacred is constructed visually in digital platforms, and how image and the conception of progress intersect. I investigate the process by which digital media producers of an influential megachurch in Seoul, South Korea, embed societal norms regarding progress in the selection and creation of visual images for their mobile apps and websites. This study will contribute to understanding the role churches play in producing and disseminating societal narratives regarding progress in the South Korean context.

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