Mass Media and Evangelization in the Church Essay Example
Mass Media and Evangelization in the Church Essay Example

Mass Media and Evangelization in the Church Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3479 words)
  • Published: December 12, 2017
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Communication is a necessity in the world of human beings, animals, and plants and is an ever continuing process going on all the time.

It is as necessary to human, animal, and vegetable existence as life itself. The absence of communication and the life process wither and die. The need for communication is as basic as the hunger for food and drink, perhaps even more so. In the beginning after all, was the ‘word’ or ‘aum’; the first syllable even uttered. Communication is the name we give to the countless ways that humans have of keeping in touch, not just words and music, pictures and print, nods and becks, posters and plumages; to every move that catches someone’s eye and every sound that resonates upon another’s ear.

” Interaction, interchange, a sharing, and commonness are ideas that crop up in any attempt to define the


term communication. Derived as it is from the Latin’s ‘communis’, which means ‘common’, the idea of commonality is stressed frequently in talking about communication.Communication is a process, which increases commonality, but also requires elements of commonality for it to occur at all. Communication then presupposes a shared environment, a social relationship between those who participate. What it leads to is a social interaction, contributing to a sense of community.

Since the world of birds and beasts too possess communication we speak of human communication in our study, rather than communication alone in our study. In the olden days human beings used to communicate face to face which could be called as interpersonal communication.As he civilizations grew and human relations spread far and wide and the need for better means of communication also becam

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very essential. The kings and emperors used messengers who walked the required distance and conveyed the messages. Now the time has changed and a messenger going and informing things has become rather impossible as it would be very much delayed, and the message that has to be conveyed is not to a single person but often it is to a big group of people. In this context the Mass Media became very important.

The Media texts which the individual picks up or turns on must be understood in the way of a dialogue. The Media are involved in relationships of a dialogue because they inspire some kind of response on the part of the reader, viewer or listener. Media texts are fundamentally dialogic, i. e. , they are fundamentally involved in a dialogue. This is because they are intended to provoke some kind of response from the audience. Keith Tester says that, “it is even possible to understand a dialogic Media text something similar to an academic lecture. It can be seen that it is vitally important to pay attention to the Media audiences. Adorns and Horkheimer argue that “within the single, mass audience each individual is isolated from every other individual…Modern communications Media have an isolating effect; this is not mere intellectual paradox.

” It is worth thinking about this comment. On the one hand they are saying that the Media turn us all into isolated individuals. But on the other hand, they are saying that the Media do this more or less equally to everyone. It means that we experience the Media alone.

It also means that the Media treat us as if we were all

the same. The Media therefore have the effect of leveling down all individuals, so that they actually become the same in all important respects. The Media challenge anything that stands out as different. From the point of view of the Media all social and cultural differences, all the specific relationships and activities which makes us precisely who we are, become things to be marginalised in the interest of the construction and maintenance of a passive and conformist audience.

The current era is radically different from any other. It is nevertheless the case that current situation of cultural and moral value is indeed different from any known and discussed before. The difference is due to a number of connected factors, inevitably many are centrally concerned with the impact of the growth and establishment of the Media. Firstly, cultural production is today dominated by the Media to such an extent that no cultural activity or production is untouched by them. Secondly, the Media presents everything as interesting in and for itself, they tend to utterly destroy the possibility that some thing may be qualitatively better than others.

Thanks to Media, things tend to be interesting or boring and that is all what they are. Thirdly, and this is the factor which makes the current situations so very different from any other, the domination of the Media and the collapse of all critical faculties into the categories of the interesting or boring means that it is not just cultural value that has tended to be destroyed, moral values have been seriously harmed as well. With the term Media I am referring to the means of communication in social and cultural

relationships that do not rely on the face to face interaction of individuals.These Media are invariably based on electronic or printing technology.

They are typified by the institution and the processes associated with such things as the Press, Television, Advertising, Radio, and Recorded music. Here we try to understand and appreciate some of the implications for cultural and moral values of these different institutions, technologies and processes. In the first chapter, we try to examine and see the different types of these Media ranging from journalism and press to the most modern electronic Media of computers and Internet. In the second chapter, we try to examine the different types of effects of the Mass Media on the audience. We examine both the positive and negative effects of media on the audience.

We try to study the problem of Media exploitation by a group of people for their profit and personal interests. In the third chapter, we try to make a study of Mass Media of communication and the Church. We study the various aspects of communication in the Church in connection to the pastoral ministry of the Church. We here examine and see what is the position and the attitude of the Church towards the Mass Media of communication by examining the important documents of the Church. In the last chapter we see about an attempt to make use of Mass Media for evangelization.

It is not in general but in particular context of North-East, India which includes few practical and concrete ways to make use of the same to proclaim Jesus our Lord. CHAPTER I MEDIA AND THE CHURCH Introduction If communication is what makes the world

go, it is the very life of the Church. The Church is above all and basically a communicator.Its mission is communication of the good-news and communion is the fruit of all-round communication. Pope Paul VI once wrote: The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time…. Every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelisation of culture, or more correctly, of cultures.

They have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed. The proclamation of the Gospel is essentially communication and for this communication in the modern world Media are necessary. The recipients, i. . , those who listen and watch Media, first of all should be selective and should have the courage to choose Media that reinforces Catholic commitment and reject that which does not. The Christian communicators should always look at it. In the modern world which has advanced so much in communication technologies, the Catholic Church should make use of the communication Media for the spread of the Gospel and for the evangelisation of the world. Very often the Church was unwilling to come forward with the new ideas and innovations to which there is a change in the recent years. In this chapter, we make an attempt to understand what is Church’s communication is and how far Church has made use of the available communication technologies for this purpose, together with the teachings of the Church on the use of Mass Media. 1.

Theology of Communication

The dialogue between communication and theology has developed in various parts of the world. It is

not an easy dialogue. For many people, communication is still of secondary importance.

They accept that it be considered in the so-called practical theology, as they assume that communication has only to do with methods and techniques.We must bear in mind that the human being is, himself or herself God’s act of communication and that he or she becomes human exactly through the way in which he or she communicates. When we reflect theologically on communication, we are not trying, in the first place, to make it understandable from an intellectual point of view. However, we want to understand how the practice of faith makes the human being more human.

For today’s Christian theology this does not refer to academical definitions but rather to the reflection that springs from God’s presence in our lives, and therefore in our practice of faith.We should make use of our theology of communication to evaluate our apostolate and to draw inspiration to improve it. It is the theology of revelation and faith, theology of grace and relationship, theology of community building and universal salvation, and theology of creation and history. Both social communication and Christian communion, which is promoted by Church’s mission or pastoral work, consists in the effective deep, genuine and universal communication using adequate Media. 1.

Divine Revelation Divine Revelation is primarily and essentially an interpersonal, inter-group relationship, between God and people, and among the people themselves through sharing and communication, bringing about a greater solidarity among all, universal human fellowship and one world community. ” Not only God and men meet each other but also men themselves meet one another as individuals and groups within the reality of the

world in the course of history with its trends and events where men are, where history is made, and where the society is being shaped.Thus whatever happens in this world and in our times, the profane and the secular, and all the realities of the temporal order include another reality: the dynamic self-communication of God in creation and history. It is not a single or isolated act, but a process that covers the whole of creation, includes all human beings and lasts throughout history.

By its dynamic interaction, it is capable of bringing about change of attitude and heart in persons and transformation of society by change of structures and values. 1. 1. 1. 1. Divine Revelation: Social and Communitarian CommunicationDivine Revelation is always social and communitarian addressed to a living people, a community of persons and not merely to individuals.

God relates himself to human beings in communication and communion as members of a living community so that the interpersonal relationship between God and human beings may be the source and climax, the pattern and model of the interpersonal relationship among men so that the community in which revelation takes place may gradually be built up and transformed in to a community of brothers and sisters, a human community, a community of faith and love, witness and service, a community of salvation.Human beings are called to imitate God in their relationships. This constitutes the theological basis for any communication whether among human beings, or between human beings and God. This mission of the Church as building up in Christ a new humanity and a world community springs from within revelation, the pattern of authentic relationship and

perfect communication. Communication calls for community both as condition and as consequence.

Revelation Calling for Faith:

A Two Way Process Any real and effective communication is a two-way process.It takes place only when the relationships become mutual and dialectical. Communication is real only when a response is given.

Revelation calls for faith. If God’s word is revelation human beings’ word is faith. If the initiative is God’s the response is human beings’ as awareness to his presence and sensitivity to his action. God’s self-manifestation and unveiling of his mystery suppose human being’s discovery and discernment of God. The manifestation of God’s plan in history through Jesus Christ invites human being to identify himself or herself with that plan and collaborate with God to share and fulfil it by his action and life.If God’s revelation is in fact salvation of human being, then human being’s climax of response in faith is prayer and worship.

It implies essentially an attention and disposability, hearing and listening, openness and acceptance, response and self-surrender. This is the process by which Christian communion is realised. 1. 2. Christian Task and Responsibility towards Media If a Christian communicator roots and grounds his profession of journalism in his Christian faith response to God’s on-going action in the history of the world, then some implications and consequences are obvious. To have a global and integral Christian world view and to spread it by sharing it with his audience and situating every small event or trend within this global and general perspective, in this breadth of vision covering space and time and to spell out the major realities of the world (temporal and the secular, the historical and the

human) and to propose some main thrusts for the orientation of history, shaping of human society and channeling of human efforts and plans are very important among them.

The Christian communicator has the task not only to report happenings and to inform people but also to fulfil a prophetic role of discernment and nterpretation. The Christian communicator should also try, through his professional techniques, to facilitate among his readers a faith-reflection through interiorization and personalisation, a faith –outlook and for faith interpretation of the secular reality and to inspire them within, an inner dynamic to give a faith response. 1. 2. 1.

Develop A Christian World Vision Out of a prayerful understanding of divine revelation and faith in the course of history, one acquires a Christian world vision. It is a picture of the totality in a glance.The vision is structured and organised and includes all the major realities: God and human beings, the world and the Church. The four realities should not be juxta-posed in a static order. They should not be made to appear as distant and separated from each other, opposed to and exclusive of each other. It should imply no separation and opposition between the world and the Church, society and religion, culture and cult, lack of contact and dialogue of life between the communicator and the audience.

It should not involve any dichotomy between the sacred and the profane, the temporal and spiritual.A negative and pessimistic attitude towards the world, the temporal order, human beings and other religions should be shed. In this vision, the four realities should be related as immanent to one another and making a single whole, though they remain

distinct with openness and dialogue, interaction and collaboration. In this process should take place the transformation of persons and society. It will then indeed be a goal-directed and not self-centered involvement. Keeping alive this vision, holding it aloft, and spreading it are part of the task of the communicator through the Media.

.Christian Discernment and Prophetic Interpretation Media not only report events and developments all over the world and the Church. They should also discern, unveil, and interpret them critically.

If so, they are not just Media, they are also a message. They are not only object of interpretation but also subject of interpretation. The Christian communicators need to discern in the happenings and trends, God’s presence and interpret his designs for the world, in the light of the Gospel. One needs interiorisation to discover the hidden reality. It is the present happenings that involve people and give values, reliability, credibility and elevance to revelation. At the same time, the present has no basis or meaning unless it is closely linked with the past and the future.

So on the one hand, the Word of God in its various sources has to be reinterpreted for the people of today with reference to their life-situations so that the word of God may become a word of today. On the other hand, today’s revelation has to be recognised and discerned, interpreted and understood, verified and confirmed by the signs of the past revelation. It is thus a prophetic mission. 1. 2.

Christian Communication as a Faith Formator

Catholic communicator, through whatever he or she does makes the work a genuine catechesis or apostolate.

Like any catechesis or pastoral service the Media can also

interpret the signs of revelation, namely the signs of god’s self gift in our life and world, facilitate a faith response, and deepen thereby our relationship with God and with human beings. It enables a group of faithful to meet and discover God in the midst of their life-situations and to understand His designs through the world, to commit themselves to spreading and to fulfilling God’s design for the world.Catechetical ministry guides people to discern and discover God’s presence in their life and to help others to make the same discovery by interpreting their life situation by the word of God.

Spirituality of Communication An authentic spirituality is the source and basis for anybody if one wants to make of one’s life or pastoral ministry a continuous experience of God. Pastoral work or any form of evangelisation can only emerge from a deep, personal experience of God.

Here one needs to speak of a spirituality of communication.Old Testament spirituality is based on the experience of God who encounters and transforms human beings on the one hand and their response to God on the other. This is made clear in the experience of Abraham, Moses and prophets like Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Psalms are best understood as response made by the people of Israel towards Yahweh. In the Gospel, Christ is pictured as the presence of God as person and as love.

This presence is communicated through the incarnation, through the cross and through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now the communicator as a leader should be not only a person of vision, he should also be a person of intuition to be able to recognise in

the reality and in all that takes place and occurs around, God’s abiding presence and to see his face under various images. The spirituality of communications thus is a discerning of the will of God in all that occur and then responding to it in faith and trust. 1.

Mass Media in the Official Documents of the Church

Throughout the centuries the Church has brought out many documents and guidelines on the use of mass Media in pastoral activity

. As we discuss the topic, Church, communication, and mass Media it is indeed necessary to have a glance at the various documents that have been brought out by the official teaching authority of the Church. 1. 4.

‘Ad Catholici Sacerdoti’ The Encyclical letter of Pius XI, dated 20th December 1935 spoke about the cultural updating of the clergy. It says that “the priest even in the midst of the pressing occupations of his ministry, and always in order that he may carry them out in a better way shall continue to study seriously and deeply …something that will go a long way to make his pastoral life effective. As the document says we should not be content with what might possibly have sufficed in other times, but should feel under compulsion to reach a standard of culture corresponding in depth and extent to that generally enjoyed by people today in comparison with those of times past.

Thus the document exhorts everyone to have a deeper knowledge of the mass Media and communication technologies of the modern times that everyone; especially those engaged in pastoral ministry may be competent enough to do their ministry effectively. 1. 4. 2. Pontifical Commission for

CinemaThe pontifical commission for cinema states that we must oppose immoral and vulgar cinema and give preference to educative cinema to cultivate moral and ethical values in the society. The worrying phenomenon of the immoral cinema has already crept into a great part of the population, both in the towns and rural areas.

The document says: “Let us use all our influence to create a Christian conscience in the moviegoers who throng the public halls. ” With this end in view, study circles have been established in many towns. These ought to be inspired by Christian morality and by the norms ssuing from the ecclesiastical authority.


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