International journal

Speech Genres

ISSN 2311-0759 (Online)
ISSN 2311-0740 (Print)

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Matyashevskaya A. I. Internet genre of conversation with a priest: The problem of communication efficiency . Speech Genres, 2022, no. 3(17), pp. 234-242. DOI: 10.18500/2311-0740-2022-17-3-35-234-242

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Internet genre of conversation with a priest: The problem of communication efficiency

Matyashevskaya Angelina Igorevna, Saratov State University

There is no doubt that the Internet has a huge impact on modern communication and significantly expands its capabilities. Apparently, various genres, including rather conservative religious discourse, are successfully adapting to this new type of online interaction with the mass addressee. On the basis of our own transcripts of video recordings of The Priest’s Response: Hot Line program, we examine the discursive and linguo-pragmatic features of the online conversation between believers and a priest and identify the educational and psychological functions of this Internet genre. The variety of communication channels – social networks, video calls, a website and a mobile application – allows the program to interest the youth audience and involve them in the discussion on Christian faith. During the coronavirus pandemic the program is also a much-needed alternative to the real-life conversation with priests. Such online communication implies an active, natural interaction of the invited clergyman with the audience. They presuppose the highest priority of the needs of the addressee and the use of original expressive means in argumentation. Due to its tasks and conditions this type of religious online discourse acquires some features of mass communication, which is reflected both in the choice of topics for discussion, and in the spontaneity and entertaining traits of such interaction alongside with its obvious practical significance for the addressee. The popularity of this Internet genre is largely determined by the spontaneity of interaction with the addressee: the responses of the program’s guests are as natural as possible and are very different from preconceived ready-made formulas. Thus, the controversial nature of some of the discussed issues allows viewers to perceive each priest in all his individuality.

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