This article presents multimodal discourse analyses of Facebook profiles set up by European women who support the Islamic State (ISIS). The research question guiding the analyses is: What types of discourses, modes and semiotic resources are these women drawn to, and how do they exploit them in setting up a Facebook profile consistent with the ISIS ideology? The analyses are based on ethnographic data obtained from Facebook. The findings show that discourses related to the following Islamic concepts are prominent in their self-presentation on Facebook: hijra (migration), jihad (holy war), jannah (paradise) and ghurba (estrangement). The use of the concept of ghurba represents a new finding in the research on jihadi culture and radicalisation. I argue that the feeling of ghurba and the discursive use of ghurba may contribute to the processes of radicalisation.
With immigration, there will be an increasing number of residents with a religious minority background in nursing homes in Norway. This group has the right to live in accordance with their beliefs, and nursing home managers have a duty to ensure residents’ rights. Employees with an immigrant and religious minority background represent an under-used source of competence in this context. How can this resource be accessed and put to use to provide equitable services to citizens with a religious minority background? This study proposes using religious literacy as a practice-oriented framework to strengthen the ability of healthcare personnel to engage with religion. To develop religious literacy, managers should facilitate an organizational culture that welcomes religion in the workplace, deliberately inviting religion into the conversational space. For sharing and mutual learning, the conversational space must be hospitable and safe. Developing religious literacy through conversational spaces for religion in the workplace is a contribution to diversity management practices.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) has utilized wide-scale advertising, especially during the 21st century. These campaigns serve both publicity and advertising campaigns, but there is no clear understanding of when, how and why the ELCF adopted this form of marketing communication. My aim in this article is to shed light on these issues by scrutinizing Church documents. I argue that the publicity campaigning, begun in the parish elections, was never solely about activating people to vote, but were also concerned with building an image of, or branding, the church. This case confirms general findings indicating that established churches seek new ways of staying relevant and maintaining their status, and it shows how the ELCF, among other non-business organizations, is applying branding in its communication, in this case to offer meaning through societal value.
This article examines an emerging “community movement” in the national Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Finland. Emerging from the local level, with links to wider renewal networks across Protestant Churches, the movement consists of a variation of 30–40 worship communities that are based on strong roles for laymen, challenging the traditional models of church life. Many communities are expanding and drawing young adults, in contrast to general developments in the Church. This article asks: What kinds of patterns of participation exist among the members and how are they related to experiences of membership? The results of a quantitative survey (N=529), conducted 2017, revealed three types of participation: “traditional,” “community-oriented” and “experiential.” The main finding is the distinct community process typical to these communities, which is connected to a strong sense of membership, commitment, and contentment, and which is actualized through lay participation. The article sheds light on the developments in a specific Nordic majority church in response to a changing cultural environment.