Responding to imposed online communication in the church: reconstructing pastoral identity during the COVID-19 crisis

H.P. de Roest, Hee-Kyu Heidi Past, Matthew Pulis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter Academic


Three exceptionally different countries (The Netherlands, South Korea, and Malta) were investigated to study whether and how a specific national and/or denominational contexts influence pastoral identity because of the necessity of using online communication. We offer a qualitative comparative analysis leading to context-related reconstructions of pastoral identity. Offering a six-level model of pastoral identity reconstruction we make four conclusions: (i) imposed online communication were mutually shaping, thus, pastors responded very fast to and shaped online communication; (ii) the range of tasks and the necessity thereof, changed rapidly as a result of imposed online communication; (iii) cultural components such as expectations, account for some of the differences in our data; and (iv) pastors are aware that the future of the church will be hybrid.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChurches Online in Times of Corona
Subtitle of host publicationDie CONTOC-Studie: Empirische Einsichten, Interpretationen und Perspektiven
EditorsThomas Schlag, Ilona Nord, Wolfgang Beck, Arnd Bünker, Georg Lämlin, Sabrina Müller, Johann Pock, Martin Rothgangel
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic) 9783658417284
ISBN (Print)9783658417277
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Church
  • Online
  • COVID-19
  • Pastors
  • Professional Identity

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