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human information behaviour, clergy, Internet, preaching


The study considers the question “What is the pastor’s experience of engagement with the Internet for preaching?” The study responds to van der Laan’s work on the potential negative impact of Internet use by Protestant Christian ministers for sermon preparation. My case study ethnographically explores one minister’s experience of Internet seeking (IS) for sermon preparation alongside earlier research on clergy information behavior. The respondent recounted being actively engaged with the Internet in the course of his devotional and intentional IS. He appeared to use online sources critically, and his formal IS activities for sermon preparation were comparable to earlier descriptions of clergy IS. The negative impact of the Internet, feared by van der Laan, was not apparent in this study. I found that Internet use did offer interesting possibilities for feedback and engagement during the sermon-construction process.

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