Two or three gathered online: Asian and European responses to COVID-19 and the digital church

Alex Chow, Jonas Kurlberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rapid increase in the use of digital technology by Christian communities worldwide. This paper offers a cross-continental analysis of how churches in Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore) and Europe (the United Kingdom and Sweden) understand and choose to implement (or resist) online services or mass. Undoubtedly, there are practical reasons behind differences which can be observed, such as the technological readiness found amongst church leadership and laity, and past experiences of public health crises, such as the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. However, accompanying these developments are debates around the theological implications of digitising church ministries, and the general concern that the digital church is somehow not ‘church’ or, even, not ‘Christian’. Different contextual perspectives help us to understand that the digital church offers a new dimension of the church embodied and, therefore, one that has the potential to live out the missio Dei within and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-318
JournalStudies in World Christianity
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • contextual theology
  • COVID-19
  • digital church
  • digital technology
  • internet
  • missio Dei

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