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Uses and Gratifications of a Spanish Digital Prayer Project: Rezandovoy

TitleUses and Gratifications of a Spanish Digital Prayer Project: Rezandovoy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRiezu, X
Start Page11-28
Date Published12/2014
Keywordsaudio prayer, digital prayer, Jesuits, Rezandovoy, uses and gratifications theory

This article attempts to make a contribution, from a sociology and communication sciences perspective, about the knowledge of religion in digital media. The results of a case study about Rezandovoy, a digital prayer service of the Society of Jesus, are exposed here. The service was created in Valladolid (Spain) in 2011 and it is used by 40,000 Spanish-speakers from around the world daily. The theoretical framework used is the paradigm of uses and gratifications, a consolidated framework in mass media research that is also applied to new digital media. This theoretical framework helps to explain the reasons why believers from all over the world use digital media in relation to their faith. In the current case study, through a methodology consisting in focus groups, interviews and virtual ethnography, it is concluded that there are a variety of gratifications that encourage users to utilise Rezandovoy. By taking into account what the users themselves say about the satisfactions that they obtain from the service, six categories of gratifications are defined: “Spiritual”, “Prayer School”, “Guidance”, “Social Utility”, “Diversion” and “Emotional”.