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This study aims to investigate Pope Francis" and Dalai Lama"s communication about communities on Twitter. Our primary research question is based on the idea that Pope Francis tweets about communities surrounded by religious contexts, while Dalai Lama does not focus on religious embeddedness in his tweets referred to communities. First, from rhetorical perspectives, we tried to examine whether the two leaders tweet about groups of people by using religious contexts. Second, we made an effort to seek whether they use explicit religious community rhetoric. Third, we sought similar potential patterns in @Pontifex" and @DalaiLama"s Twitter rhetoric in the task mentioned above. This paper"s results support that both religious leaders focus on one universal goal in their tweets, namely the healthy coexistence in order to keep the planet as a liveable sphere. To promote that idea, they address the vital role of shared responsibility for every people regardless of whether or not they belong to religious communities.
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European Journal of Science and Theology, October 2019, Vol.15, No.5, 159-178
Tamas Toth
and Jacint Farkas
Corvinus University, Fővám square 8, Budapest 1093, Hungary
(Received 27 May 2019, revised 27 July 2019)
This study aims to investigate Pope Francis and Dalai Lamas communication about
communities on Twitter. Our primary research question is based on the idea that Pope
Francis tweets about communities surrounded by religious contexts, while Dalai Lama
does not focus on religious embeddedness in his tweets referred to communities. First,
from rhetorical perspectives, we tried to examine whether the two leaders tweet about
groups of people by using religious contexts. Second, we made an effort to seek whether
they use explicit religious community rhetoric. Third, we sought similar potential
patterns in @Pontifex and @DalaiLamas Twitter rhetoric in the task mentioned above.
This papers results support that both religious leaders focus on one universal goal in
their tweets, namely the healthy co-existence in order to keep the planet as a liveable
sphere. To promote that idea, they address the vital role of shared responsibility for
every people regardless of whether or not they belong to religious communities.
Keywords: social media, Pope Francis, Dalai Lama, community, rhetoric
1. Introduction
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in analysing political
[1, 2,], business [3], and religious leaders communication on social media
platforms [4]. In our study, we focus on the latter. The bigger the religious
marketplace [4] started to become the more questions emerged whether the
religious leaders, institutions, and other agents of the faithful would use the web
as a tool for communication. Researchers have different opinions about the
connection between the web and religious institutions. Cheong points out that
... directly link the Internet to the loss of religious authority and the erosion of
distinctions between elites and laity... [4] On the contrary, he also mentions the
following idea: ...Hjarvard [5] asserts that contemporary media work as agents
of religious change, transforming both the nature of interactions between
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
members and the authority of religious institutions” [4]. Hjarvard proposes
religions mediatisation in his research in which he states the interdependence
between the World Wide Web and religious institutions. Social media platforms
like Twitter have also provided opportunities for religious leaders to emphasize
their opinions related to local and global problems. In other words, religious
leaders tend to reach as many people as they can via social media to express
their views, to maintain religious traditions and beliefs [6, 7]. Moreover, social
media can function as a bridge between unreachable religious leaders and
ordinary people because it provides the feeling that religious leaders
communicate directly to their followers. Zijderveld stresses that religious leaders
use social media like Instagram and Twitter because those platforms became
“…an important source of authority. If successful, it contributes to the spiritual
capital of religious organizations and its leaders. [8]
A key aspect of leadership is that leaders want to influence crowds for
achieving universal goals [9]. Nowadays, the two most prominent religious
leaders in terms of the number of their followers on Twitter are Pope Francis
(@Pontifex) and Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama). Therefore we analysed the
Catholic Churchs and Buddhisms first leaders tweets. On the one hand, we
chose Pope Francis and Dalai Lamas Twitter rhetoric to analyse, because they
consistently provided the necessary amount of written content, namely the
tweets. On the other hand, we could not ignore the number of their Twitter
followers either. Until 2019 (registered in 2010) @Pontifex gained 17.9 million
followers via his English account [10]. Dalai Lama registered in 2009 to Twitter,
and nowadays his audience consists of 19 million users on his English account.
Therefore we can allege that the two leaders may influence remarkably big
crowds via Twitter too. However, several scholars analysed religious
communication via Twitter [11-13], but we did not find any comparative
analysis referred to Pope Francis and Dalai Lamas Twitter communication
about communities so far.
2. Papal communication via mass media
The connection between the mass media and the Church begins with
Vatican Radio in 1931. Pius the 11th launched Vatican Radio, and after that,
popes used mass media actively to become media agents [J. Radwan and M.
Pressman, Fake News, real solutions: Journalism history and Pope Francis’
message for World Communications Day, 2018,
francis%E2%80%99-message-world] and to reach people via the radio. “Thanks
to these wonderful techniques, man's social life has taken on new dimensions:
time and space have been conquered, and man has become as it were a citizen of
the world, sharing in and witnessing the most remote events and the vicissitudes
of the whole human race.[14] The World Communication Day was launched
by Paul the 6th in 1967. It becomes an official occasion for the actual pope to
reflect on opportunities that mass media, namely the press, radio, television,
The terminologies of two religious leaders
motion pictures and the internet, provided to communicate and spread the
In the last two decades, the Vatican recognizes the importance of
communication via the World Wide Web, especially the social media, and starts
to use it as a communicational platform to express its traditions and forward
messages [15]. In the early 2000s, John Paul II thought that Web was a new
opportunity to spread the Gospel [16]. Another prominent Christian leader,
namely Benedict XVI also emphasized the role of wireless connection and
communication; tools that could function as chains between people who want to
encounter the love of God. There should be no lack of coherence or unity in the
expression of our faith and witness to the Gospel in whatever reality we are
called to live, whether physical or digital. [17] Benedict XVI (or his
communicational team) registered to Twitter in 2012. His first message was the
following: Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter.
Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart. [A.
Johnston, Pope Starts Tweeting as @pontifex, Blesses Followers - BBC News,
2012] On the one hand, Benedict XVI could not engage with huge masses via
social media, namely Twitter, on the other, he recognized the critical importance
of social media in religious communication [18].
As we mentioned before, the birth of the @Pontifex account was in 2010,
but the first message was sent on December 2012 [L. Hudson, Claire Diaz-Ortiz,
the Woman Who Got the Pope on Twitter, Q&A Online, 2012, https://www.]. Nine accounts belong to
@Pontifex, as he (or his communicational team) tweets in nine different
languages, including Latin. It is important to notice that Twitter account
@Pontifex does not belong to Pope Francis himself because it represents the
Successor of Peter. Therefore @Pontifex account is the voice of Supreme Pontiff
[10]. @Pontifex tweets approximately once a day and ...; he has occasionally
used hashtags, placing his interventions in a thematic context and establishing
his presence as part of a community; finally, he chooses simple language in
continuity with his homilies and public speech and prioritizes brevity (he uses
an average of 85 characters per tweet) [10]. Despite this data, our research
shows that @Pontiffex is very active in certain periods. On June 16th, 2015,
@Pontifex tweeted 36 times, and the day after he posted 26 messages via
Twitter (mined database from Twitter). However, the Church Massacre in
Charleston happened on June 15th, 2015, but @Pontifex did not make a concrete
comment about the tragedy on the very next day in his tweets. Further, he rather
focused on fundamental questions that could influence the future of Earth: Each
community has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for
coming generations. (Date: 2015-06-18 20:00:11) Whatever is fragile, like the
environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market. (Date:
2015-06-18 19:00:10) The alliance between economy and technology ends up
sidelining anything unrelated to its immediate interests. (Date: 2015-06-18
18:40:03) Economic interests easily end up trumping the common good. (Date:
2015-06-18 18:20:07)
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
As a recent study shows, Pope Francis tweets about Christian and moral
ethic like Charity, Mercy, Christian Life, but he also stresses the critical
importance of Social Problems [10].
Contents like selfies also spread virally about Pope Francis via Twitter.
On August 29th, 2013, the Pope met a group of teenagers in Saint Peters
Basilica is where the photo mentioned above was taken. Technically, the photo
was not taken by Pope Francis, but an artist, Fabio Ragona (@FabioMRagona)
who posted the picture on his Twitter account [19].
Interestingly, Pope Francis does not have an official Facebook profile.
The archbishop in charge, Claudio Maria Celli said that they wanted to avoid
abusive comments on Facebook [M.Z. Seward, Why the pope is on Twitter but
not on Facebook, Quartz Online, 2014,
on-twitter-and-not-facebook/]. On the other hand, Pope Francis registered to
Instagram with the account name @franciscus, and he gained 6.1 million
followers so far.
3. Buddhist and Dalai Lamas communication via social media
There is a general lack of scientific research related to Buddhist and
Dalai Lamas communication via social sites, primarily via Twitter. Therefore
this paper contests the aim to provide a scientific publication to get a more in-
depth insight into the Buddhist leaders communication via Twitter.
As early as 1996, Tibetan Buddhist Monks from Namgyal Monastery
stressed the significance of the internet when they blessed the cyber network by
Kalachakra Tantra [20]. To conduct the ritual, the monks used sacred chants
while they visualized the interconnected network of computers that make up the
Internet and the >>space<< created by these networks.” [18, p. 155] The Tibetan
Buddhist community realizes the critical importance of the Internet. They use
the web as a platform where they can communicate about the problematic
(political) situation of Tibet. Thubten Samphel, the secretary at the department
of information in the Tibetan government, stresses that the Internet is an
opportunity to create virtual communities between exiled Tibetans by
communicating regardless of physical borders, political interests, and
geographical obstacles. In other words, there is a possibility to create a virtual
Tibet [21] through cyberspace-communities, where people can freely debate,
propose and express their national or religious identity [22]. Dalai Lama has his
official website since 1999 [18]. Teachings, public speeches, and rituals are
available freely for users on his web page. Moreover, his public lectures are
frequently available via live and recorded online broadcastings: Watch Live:
Mind & Life Dialogue. Reimagining Human Flourishing from Dharamsala,
India on March 12-16. HHDL will engage in conversation with 17 scholars on
the integration of compassion and ethics in education.
live. (Date: 2018-03-07 11:30:05) “Watch HHDLs talk on Compassion &
Universal Responsibility given at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on
June 21.” (Date: 2016-06-22 11:30:09)
The terminologies of two religious leaders
Dalai Lama has an official Facebook profile with 13.9 million followers.
He (or his communicational team) posts various types of contents like videos,
pictures and written texts.
According to Orita and Hada [23], there was a fake account referred to the
Dalai Lama on Twitter in the 2000s, but the fake account was removed. The
Dalai Lama had an enormous number of followers, and he led the list of Indian
celebrities on Twitter in 2013 [24]. Based on our calculations, he tweeted
approximately once in every four and half days, between June 5th, 2015 and June
22nd, 2018, respectively.
4. Research questions
This paper contests the claim to seek the way how the two religious
leaders communicate about communities via Twitter. Moreover, this study tries
to show the role of religious rhetoric contexts if communities appear in Pope
Francis and Dalai Lamas tweets. We tried to find possible patterns in the two
prominent transcendent leaders (religious) community rhetoric via Twitter.
Consequently, this study aims to address the following research questions:
RQ1 Does @Pontifex use primarily religious (mostly Christian) contexts
whether he mentions communities in his tweets?
RQ2 Does @DalaiLama highlight religious aspects with insignificant
frequency whether he mentions communities compared to Pope Francis
community tweets?
5. Methodology
First, we emphasize that we gained data only from the two religious
leaders English Twitter accounts. The methodological approach taken in this
study is a mixed methodology based on qualitative and quantitative perspectives.
Our sample consists of 1307 tweets that have been posted by Pope Francis
and by Dalai Lama. @Pontifex tweeted 1057 times while @DalaiLama tweeted
250 occasions during the investigated period. We analysed the sample from the
June 2nd, 2015 to June, 6th 2018. We chose that starting point because the
migrant crisis started to emerge in European media in the summer of 2015, and it
possibly could have affected the two transcendent leaders Twitter rhetoric.
First, we mined the most frequent words which in our understanding
referred to (any) possible communities like brothers, everyone, others,
people, sisters, they, us, we and world. We analysed every tweet
contained the words above, except in three cases. Our results show that
extremely high frequencies appeared in three cases in terms of the words
mentioned above. The frequencies of us and we were 438 and 306 in
@Pontifex tweets while we occurred 157 times in @DalaiLamas messages.
To avoid over-representation and imbalanced results, we selected a random
sample (10%) from @Pontifex tweets if he mentions the community words us
and we. We made the same selection from @DalaiLamas tweets in which
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
we occurred. Hence, we know that our analysis is not representative, but our
goal is to separate the two religious leaders narratives about communities based
on similar quantities of the analysed samples, namely the community words.
From this point, we refer to the above mentioned nine terms as community
Second, we coded each tweet that contained the relevant community
words to decide whether the two leaders use religious contexts as part of
community rhetoric. Our code table is in Chapter Characterizing the category
Religious Communities and Non-Religious Communities. We used
MAXQDA 2018 qualitative content and data analysis software throughout our
work for summarizing and checking the manual coding process and finding
possible correlations or differences between the community words and specific
topics, like migrant crisis, ecological problems, religious activities, moral
guides, (shared) responsibilities, and communication. After that, two trained
coders re-coded the relevant sample, using the same code table as we did before.
Third, we measured intercoder reliability using Krippendorffs Alpha to
overview the coding process and results [25]. Then we qualitatively analysed the
possible patterns in community rhetoric to understand similarities and
differences in the two religious leaders tweets. To distinguish religious and non-
religious contexts in community rhetoric, we compared the quantities of total
agreements to specific agreements in coded tweets. The first set of accords
examines the portions of agreements in the entire coding process regardless of
whether the transcendent leaders used religious rhetoric in their community
tweets. Then, we measured the frequency of agreements in a religious context in
community rhetoric compared to the total analysed sample. For instance, the
specific community word others emerges 47 times in @Pontifex tweets, and
(based on intercoder reliability results) refers to the religious context in
community rhetoric slightly more than half (53%) of the analysed text.
To establish whether the two leaders use religious contexts referring to
directly to communities, we analysed the tweets quantitatively by MAXQDA
2018. To provide these results, we ran word combinations analysis in which the
most frequently emerging word combinations were listed by the program
(minimum two, but maximum five words). If an explicit religious reference
occurred to communities, we coded the word combination as part of religious
community rhetoric. We collected word combinations referred to religious
community rhetoric at a minimum frequency of five (Table 1). We did not focus
on extended connections but explicit close links. Explicit, close connections
mean that the distance between religious words and community words do not
reach the level of four words. Hence, we chose the maximum number of words
at the level of five in word combination analysis. As we asserted in the results,
the word our appeared with high frequency (n = 17) in explicit religious
community rhetoric. Therefore we added it and looked at our as a community
word in the analysis mentioned above.
The terminologies of two religious leaders
In Tables 1-3 we collected words, word combinations, and tweets from
the entire sample. In Table 4, every tweet was analysed that consisted of the
relevant community words, except in three cases. If us and we appeared in
Pontifex tweets we analysed 10% of the sample, and we did the same if we
emerged in @DalaiLamas tweets to avoid imbalanced results.
Table 1. Tweets about communities, possible religious context, and the potential
emerging of religious communities.
Level of
Let us join in prayer with
our Orthodox brothers and
sisters for the Holy and
Great Council of the
Orthodox Church opening
today in Crete
Christians and Muslims
are brothers and sisters,
and we must act as such.
Faith becomes tangible
when it finds its expression
in love and, especially, in
the service of our brothers
and sisters in difficulty
Lord Jesus, cast forth the
shadow of your cross over
peoples at war: may they
learn the way of
reconciliation, dialogue,
and forgiveness.
Let us pray for our Coptic
brethren in Egypt who
were killed because they
did not want to renounce
the faith.
If we dedicate more time
to prayer, our hearts will
reveal the lies with which
we deceive ourselves, and
we will find true
consolation in God.
I express my solidarity
with migrants around the
world and thank all those
who help them: welcoming
others means welcoming
God in person!
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
I encourage everyone to
engage in constructive
forms of communication
that reject prejudice
towards others and foster
hope and trust today
Let us entrust the new year
to Mary, Mother of God,
so that peace and mercy
may grow throughout the
We cannot remain silent
before the suffering of
millions of people whose
dignity has been wounded.
The Christian vocation
means being a brother or
sister to everyone,
especially if they are poor,
and even if they are an
There can be no true peace
if everyone claims always
and exclusively his or her
own rights, without caring
for the good of others.
Compassion brings inner
peace, and whatever else is
going on, that peace of
mind allows us to see the
whole picture more
Im Tibetan, Im Buddhist
and Im the Dalai Lama,
but if I emphasize these
differences it sets me apart
and raises barriers with
other people. What we
need to do is to pay more
attention to the ways in
which we are the same as
other people.
I believe the ultimate
source of blessings is
within us. A good
motivation and honesty
bring self-confidence,
which attracts the trust and
respect of others.
The terminologies of two religious leaders
Therefore the real source
of blessings is in our own
World peace can only be
based on inner peace. If we
ask what destroys our
inner peace, its not
weapons and external
threats, but our own inner
flaws like anger. This is
one of the reasons why
love and compassion are
important, because they
strengthen us. This is a
source of hope
It is in the nature of the
mind that the more we
cultivate and familiarize
ourselves with positive
emotions, the more
powerful they become.
On a mental level kindness
and compassion give rise
to lasting joy. They reduce
I really feel that some
people neglect and
overlook compassion
because they associate it
with religion. Of course,
everyone is free to choose
whether they pay religion
any regard, but to neglect
compassion is a mistake
because it is the source of
our own well-being.
6. Characterizing religious context and non-religious context
First, we show the primary keywords that may refer to communities.
Second, we characterize religious context and non-religious context
categories to make the coding process more precise. We used MAXQDA2018 to
list words that can be parts of religious community rhetoric. Then we chose the
nine most frequently used community words from the analysed database. We
recognized in the analysis that @Pontifex tweets slightly more than four times
than @DalaiLama. Consequently, we weighted the quantities of the relevant
words in @DalaiLamas tweets by a 4.22 multiplier, respectively.
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
Table 2. Mined words referring to communities with weighted results.
Note: The abbreviation w means weighted results.
Even though words in Table 2 have the highest frequency in the analysed
sample, they are too general to let us make any assumptions about religious
community rhetoric. At this point, we would like to emphasize that the code
table refers to both the contexts of tweets and community words. Therefore there
is a possibility that meanings in tweets are based on religious aspects, but they
do not refer directly to community words.
Trained coders analysed the tweets and coded them by the following
(i) Religious context
a. emphasizing the role of interconnection based on faith;
b. mentioning the faithful peoples communities;
c. referring to sacred happenings like a confession, communion, meditation,
d. defending the religious circles from evil, humiliation;
e. using the following typical keywords close to the analysed four terms:
pray, church, Father, God, Jesus, Mary, Grace, Holy,
religion, Buddha, Buddhism, Mahajana school, and faith;
f. religious teachings, guiding that connect to communities;
g. make faithful people remember, encounter to Jesus Christ, God, Holy
Spirit, Buddha(s), former Lamas, saints and former priests, monks or other
religious leaders or activists;
h. communities need for Jesus Christ, God, Holy Spirit, Buddha, Buddhism,
and Tibetan school;
i. highlighting that the globes inhabitants are all children of God;
j. emphasizing the worlds salvation by Jesus Christ, ignoring suffering in
peoples life;
k. quitting from the cycle of existence.
(ii) Non-Religious context
a. tweeting about communities without the frameworks above, words, phrases,
religious guide, and teachings;
b. interconnected friends;
The terminologies of two religious leaders
c. people who are in need for example asylum seekers, migrants, and modern
d. every living creature (plants, animals, human beings) of the Earth;
e. conventional acting to maintain and protect the planet for current and future
f. concern for others ignoring religious perspective;
g. creating of sympathy;
h. focusing on universal, inner peace of mind.
Table 3. Explicit religious community word combinations in Pope Francis tweets.
Explicit Religious community
word combinations
Number of
The total share
of the sample
Rank in the
Let us pray
Our lady
Our Christian
Christian unity
7. Findings and discussion
@Pontifex uses us, we, and world (Table 2) as the most frequent
community words. Table 4 presents the intercoder reliabilities in tweets in which
community words emerge. As shown in Table 4, community words of us, we,
and world have high intercoder reliabilities in Krippendorff‟s Alpha (α = 0.723
< 0.897). It can be seen from data in Table 4 that community words reach at
least 0.678 reliability in our analysis. As Table 4 shows, brothers is the
community word that has the highest intercoder reliability (α = 1) in the Popes
Further analysis shows that the highest total agreement (n = 70) occurs
when world appears in Pontiff tweets. On the other hand, religious intercoder
agreement emerges slightly over half of the analysed data (55%) in tweets where
the pope uses world.
The results, as shown in Table 4, indicate that @Pontifex uses most of the
times religious rhetoric in his tweets referred to communities. Our trained coders
analysed 385 tweets consisted of relevant community words, and they found 231
agreements in terms of religious perspective. On average, positive correlation
(60%) is perceived between community tweets and spiritual aspect in
@Pontifex tweets. The separation of community tweets based on the rate of
agreements. We created three categories in the analysed community words in
@Pontifex tweets. First, we define the class of Significant religious aspects. If
religious rhetoric emerges more frequently than the average (60%) results in
community rhetoric, we ascertain Significant religious aspects. Second, we
create the Average religious aspects if the occurrence of spiritual context in
community rhetoric is between 50% and 60%. Finally, we specify the
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
Insignificant religious aspects category if a community word refers to less than
half of the times in terms of religious communities.
Table 4. Intercoder reliability in tweets, number of general intercoder agreements in the
total sample and portion of agreements referred to the religious context in community
reliability (α)
Total Agree
context) (n)
28 (35) 0.8
1 (15)*
12 (32)
1 (15)*
25 (47)
2 (57) 0.0351
23 (51)
4 (19) 0.2105
24 (34)
1 (15)*
19 (31)
3 (17) 0.1764
38 (44)
4 (40) 0.10
18 (31)
2 (15) 0.1333
44 (80)
7 (39) 0.1794
231 (385)
23 (202)
Note: Numbers in the parenthesis show the total quantity of analysed sample referring to
specific community words. *On account of low frequencies, the quantities of brothers,
sisters and everyone were aggregated in @DalaiLamas sample.
As Table 2 presents, @DalaiLama uses we with the highest frequency (n
= 153, w = 647) following by others (n = 57, w = 241) and us (n = 40, w =
169). Despite we has lower intercoder reliability (α = 0.46), a significant
portion of reliabilities is high in the analysed data (α = 0.876, 0.919, and 1). The
highest reliability (α = 1) is reached by the three aggregated community words
(brothers, sisters and everyone) and a single community word, others.
Therefore we can declare, that abbreviated words (brothers, sisters and
everyone) and others have the 100% agreements in the complete analysis.
The lowest agreement appears by the community word of we on 12 occasions
out of 15 in the Buddhist leaders tweets.
Religious aspect arises with a relatively low rate in @DalaiLama tweets
when he writes about communities via Twitter. Only a trace amount of 23
(11.39%) is detected in the coding process. The community word people has
The terminologies of two religious leaders
the highest rate in religious aspect with the frequency of 4 tweets (21.1%), while
world has the highest occurrence with seven times (17.94%).
Compared to the results referred to Pontifexs tweets, there are no
Significant religious aspects or Average religious aspects, but Insignificant
religious aspects in @DalaiLamas tweets.
Based on quantitative results, explicit religious community rhetoric
emerges only in @Pontifex tweets. Four attractive word combinations appear in
the listed word combinations, namely Let us pray, Our lady, Our Christian
and Christian unity. The accumulated amount and share of the four explicit
religious community word combinations above are 35 and 0.5% in @Pontifex
database (Table 3). The rate between apparent religious word combinations and
explicit religious community words is 35:231. Our results show that the chance
of religious context is 6.6 times higher than using pure, specific religious word
combinations in Pontifex tweets.
8. Addressing our research questions
As we presented in the chapter above, results may support our research
8.1. RQ1
Religious contexts dominate Pope Francis community rhetoric; however,
he does not tweet about communities as religious groups of people with high
frequency, especially not as Christian circles. Not surprisingly, he relies on
Christian ethic and teachings when he presents his guidelines and suggestions to
his Twitter followers. We show in the next chapters the correlations emerged
between the analysed community words and religious context.
8.2. RQ2
In some cases, religious contexts appear in @DalaiLamas tweets, but
mostly non-religious backgrounds surround the analysed tweets. Although Dalai
Lama writes that he is Buddhist and Tibetan, he emphasizes the unawareness of
these differences that may act as obstacles between people who come from other
nations or have different views. He thinks about Earth as a place that should not
be separated by nationalities, ethnicities, religions, political, and business
interests. We will present detailed explanations in the following chapters.
9. Significant religious aspects
The results of this study show that brothers and sisters appear almost
always together (brothers and sisters) in @Pontifex tweets except for one
occasion. Pope Francis frequently uses brothers and sisters in his tweets,
because one of the essential elements of Christian rhetoric is referring to
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
communities. On the one hand, these terms apply to the Christian community
itself; on the other, they address that every human being can be part of the global
Christian family. These community words are in most religious contexts,
referring to Christian unity; in other words, a group of people who are united in
faith, led by God, and beloved by Jesus. @Pontifex stresses in his tweets the
equality between Christians and Muslims, calling them as brothers and sisters
(Table 1). Consequently, Pope Francis does not look at Muslims from a vertical
position. In his quoted tweet faith and practical act are connected, but the
Pontiff does not characterize which or what kind of faith he is thinking.
They is the most general phrase among community words. On the one
hand, if they came into view, religious rhetoric is used by the pope with high
frequency. On the other hand, religious rhetoric is not connected often directly to
the group of they. In @Pontifex tweets, religious rhetoric functions as a moral
guide rather a (Christian) community builder tool. Therefore general ethical
guidelines surround the community word they in Pope Francis tweets. For
instance, learning the dialogue between people, especially in warzones, can be a
helpful tool in seeking peace (Table 1). We find direct connections between
religious rhetoric and Christian communities, especially if these elements are
connected to real events and happenings like slaughtering Coptic people in
Egypt who ...did not want to renounce the faith (Table 1).
The community word us emerges in concrete calls in which @Pontifex
makes people active to encounter or get closer to God. Invitations for prayers
and callings for following Christian ethic are a regular part of Pope Francis
tweets (Table 1). Nonetheless, Gods, Jesus and the Gospels actions are also
presented in specific tweets when us appears. For instance, according to
@Pontifex, God gives us many gifts, but he asks only very little from human
10. Average religious aspects
Based on trained coders results, three community words (we, others,
and world) appear in tweets in which average religious aspect emerges in
@Pontifex rhetoric. However, we perceive a clear distinction between we and
others, as the Pope does not use the two community words to emphasize any
difference between us and them. Moreover, there is a lack of distinction
between these communities. The Pontiff uses religious rhetoric much more
directly in tweets which contain we.
On the contrary, the group of others is not considered to be a religious
group in popes tweets. The community word we and the context surrounded
by explicitly show tasks referred to human beings; including the Pope himself.
Remembering Jesus sacrifice, dedicating time for prayer, and finding (our) way
back to the Lord emerge in religious-based tweets. However, building the
common future, working for peace in the world and supporting one another
are independent of the religious aspects in @Pontifex tweets (Table 1).
The terminologies of two religious leaders
Despite, others is not a direct part of religious context in community
rhetoric in Pontiff tweets, but there is an indirect connection between spiritual
messages and others. Pope Francis stresses that giving a hand and charity bring
closer us to others. To express this thought, we perceive that @Pontifex
suggests welcoming others (for example, people who are in need) because
being tolerant and humble means that people may get closer to God. On the
other hand, Pope Francis applies non-religious rhetoric to emphasize the
ignorance of prejudice that destroys peace.
However, the community phrase world is surrounded by theological
context with average frequency; it is not connected to religious groups directly.
Pope Francis refers to world as the globe that should be a protected area from
poverty, hate, and destruction by mercy and commitment to a liveable Earth.
11. Insignificant religious aspects
In @Pontifex tweets, people and everyone are surrounded by
insignificant religious aspects. Using these community words without significant
or average religious contexts is essential in @Pontifex rhetoric. According to
Scannone, the word people is ambiguous: On the one hand, it can designate
the entire people as a nation; on the other hand, it can designate the lower classes
and popular social sectors that comprise a nation [26]. Hence, the Pontiff does
not emphasize distinctions by using explicit religious community rhetoric, nor he
uses religious context in most of his tweets when people appears. However,
Pope Francis declares the crucial role of young people (n = 13) in his tweets
and highlights that youths are the hope of Church and stresses that they should
stay united in prayer. The Pontiff encourages young people to dream big
about the future and not to be afraid of it. People can also refer to inhabitants
of distinct areas like Cuba, Myanmar, or human beings who suffer from illness,
being alone, and human exploitation.
@Pontifex extends the community word everyone over faith and
religion because he declares that no one is excluded from being a brother or
sister, ... especially if they are poor, and even if they are an enemy (Table 1).
Stressing the opposite site, (the Enemy) shows that Pope Francis
communication is based on pure Christian ethics, because forgiveness and
encounter emerge in his Twitter rhetoric. @Pontifex emphasizes that people
should not focus on only their own specific goals because global peace cannot be
reached via exclusive individualism.
After @Pontifex tweets, we discuss @DalaiLamas community rhetoric
via Twitter. As shown in Table 4, the Buddhist leader does not use significant or
average frequency of religious context in his tweets but insignificant, because he
does not look at religion as a commitment to an extern creating power. He
focuses on practical acts, philosophy, and attitudes applied to life, which
provides moral and ethical meanings. Dalai Lamas communication relates to
communities that refer to every existing creature, including plants, animals,
human beings that live on Earth [27]. Similarly, religious groups are also parts of
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
communities; groups that are not differentiated by Dalai Lama. However,
religious aspects are not essential fragments of his communal rhetoric, because
Mahajana school the philosophical and theological perspective that primarily
provides Dalai Lama world view does not stress the critical importance of
religious interconnections.
His Buddhist aspects are not nihilist because humans acts may have
severe effects on the globe. Consequently, human actions can determine the
future. In Dalai Lamas perspective, loving each other as brothers is not a
theological guide, but the fundamental element of ignorance suffering on the
Earth [28, 29].
Based on our database, we is the most frequently used community word
in Dalai Lamas tweets following by others, us and world. @DalaiLama
uses community word we in several topics. Most commonly the term of we
need emerges (n = 26) in his rhetoric. As a supporting result of our analysis, we
perceive that need does not refer to goods but concrete actions. For instance,
reaching inner peace by being patient is a crucial topic in @DalaiLamas tweets.
Moreover, paying attention to each other and the need for shared responsibility
to keep Earth as a liveable space are also fundamental topics in his tweets.
Similarly to @Pontifex the community word others does not represent a
distinction between groups of people. Like Pope Francis, the Buddhist leader
also tweets about helping, caring, paying respect, showing concern for others.
However absolute opposition emerges between others and us in Dalai Lamas
tweets. He thinks that instead of criticizing others, we should criticize ourselves.
Keep asking questions like ... what am I doing about my anger, my attachment,
my pride, my jealousy? may bring closer people to self-discipline; a valuable
tool that may provide training the mind.
He stresses that compassion may bring peace in peoples minds and then
inhabitants of the world can be able to see ...the whole picture more clearly.
The community word us refers to every living existence of the world, and
concrete suggestions follow it from time to time. For instance, @DalaiLama
tweets that people should not be the slaves of technology because these tools are
instruments that keep helping to communicate, survive, and help each other.
Sometimes religious context appears in his tweets, but nor for convincing
purposes. Dalai Lama emphasizes that prayer does not maintain peace because
... it requires Us to take action.
The application of world is similar in @DalaiLamas tweets to
@Pontifex messages. Mostly, two significant tasks appear in the Buddhist
leaders tweets if world emerges. First, individuals should create and protect a
liveable place together. Second, a peaceful world can be the critical task to
reach, which should be defended in the future. In both cases, Dalai Lama thinks
that every single person should have a responsible way of thinking, and
everybody should act consciously to create a peaceful sphere in which everyone
can live.
The terminologies of two religious leaders
However, @DalaiLama also mentions the hopeful role of young people,
but he describes these community words by using particular characterization.
The Buddhist leader tweets about people who think something wrong about
human acts based on positive attitudes. For instance, some believe that a
compassionate attitude can only be part of religious individuals, but Dalai
Lamas reaction to this behaviour is the opposite: compassion can be the essence
of living together, independently of religions (Table 1).
Interestingly, the community word they refers not only to humans but
emotions, and attitudes. Love, compassion, and kind-heartedness are tools
that have a positive influence in communities. In the sense of Dalai Lama,
compassion may reduce fear and kept the mind healthy.
However, brothers, sisters and everyone emerge with low
frequencies, but we would like to mention that these community words are not
surrounded by religious context, except one occasion. @DalaiLama declares that
everyone is free to choose between religions or neglect them, but compassion
should be not ignored by anybody whether the person is religious. Brothers and
sisters are utilized all together in the Buddhist leaders tweets, making no
difference between them.
12. Limitations
In particular, the analysis of religious community rhetoric is problematic
by the quantitative method we use in our research. Therefore, further in-depth
content analysis is required to show more detailed results in community rhetoric.
For instance, in @Pontifex tweets, dear young word combination appears with
high frequency (n = 15, r = 6th), but is not connected to religious community
rhetoric at first glance. After a more in-depth qualitative content analysis, we
perceived that possible correlation could appear between the word combination
mentioned above and religious community rhetoric. Tweets like Dear young
people, you are the hope of the Church and Dear young people, stay united in
prayer... can be connected to spiritual community rhetoric, but we neglect this
(kind of) term(s) in our study because the quantitative analysis does not show us
this term(s) among the explicit-direct religious community word combinations.
13. Conclusions
Recently, the maintaining of a liveable planet starts to become a more
vital task in the media, including social media sites like Twitter. Interestingly,
critical technical developments and global ecological crises almost coincided in
the last decades. The World Wide Web expands the communication channels
while global economic interests and political goals may risk the future of the
globe. The factors mentioned above impact religious leaders communication
altogether. The opportunities emerge for transcendental leaders via the social
media platforms are (at least) twofold. First, reaching huge masses without
physical limits are essential tasks for religious leaders, in terms of proclaiming
Toth & Farkas/European Journal of Science and Theology 15 (2019), 5, 159-178
their moral or ethical guidelines. Second, spiritual leaders have the chance to
expand their core basis of their followers on social sites by emphasizing global,
problematic matters in question. Highlighting the vital issue of an inhabitable
sphere is not only a task that refers to Christian or Buddhist people, but it is also
part of everyones lives, regardless of their spiritual aspects. The 20th century
brought the chance by its technical improvements for leaders to communicate to
huge masses, but with a restricted way. The 21st centurys online sphere provides
the potential for spiritual leaders to communicate with an extended group
compared to the former ages.
Pope Francis uses mostly religious context when he tweets about
communities, but he does not look primarily at communities as religious groups
of people. Moreover, Pope Francis becomes a narrative hero in the last couple of
years as he had ... his capacity to speak to every living being, animals included
[30]. According to Cherry, Pope Francis shifts tone by adopting a postmodern
perspective, namely avoiding an ... objectively true moral-theological position”
[31]. As we presented in our results, this change in Supreme Pontiffs rhetoric
does not mean that he ignores religious contexts in his tweets. On the contrary,
he highlights that every human being can be part of Christian Unity. Similarly to
@DalaiLama, he stresses the importance of compassion, especially for
communities like refugees, asylum seekers, the poor, and people who suffer
from human exploitation. Pope Francis does not emphasize the critical
importance of Catholicism in his tweets with high frequency, because he keeps
gates open for those who are far away from Christian religion or ethic (for
example, gays, criminals, and people with a different faith) by not judging them
at this moment [R. Donadio, On Gay Priests, Pope Francis asks, Who am I to
judge?, The New York Times, July 30, 2013, Section A, p. 1, https://www.]. This
pattern, namely the mentioning of Christian groups, but not focusing primarily
on them when community rhetoric appears, shows that @Pontifex
simultaneously can shift tone in his live speeches like interviews and via his
online communication like sending messages via Twitter.
Dalai Lama also tweets about communities as non-religious communities
but compares to Pope Francis, most of the time; he also ignores religious
contexts. The Dalai Lama mentioned the importance of Buddhism, in terms of
religious background only occasionally in his teachings, because he looks at
Buddhism as a way of practical life rather than a spiritual practice [27].
The Buddhist leader focuses on highlighting inner peace, respect for
others, and compassion. @DalaiLama declares in his community tweets that the
factors above are the keys to avoid selfishness and keep Earth as a liveable place
for every existing being. Moreover, mobilizing people in the present for
maintaining peace in the future is another tool in his community rhetoric.
The difference between the religious leaders is attractive in community
rhetoric. Pope Francis uses general moral guides rather than concrete
suggestions to show the path for his Twitter followers, while Dalai Lama
emphasizes the power of acting as he tweets about individuals active
The terminologies of two religious leaders
participation in protecting peace and our planet for the current and the following
generations. As our study shows (even with its limitations) the two rhetoric, in
terms of the frequency of religious contexts, are different but the goal is the
same in the two transcendent leaders tweets referring to communities.
@Pontifex and @DalaiLama consider individual and collective ethical
responsibility as a primary task. Despite some rhetorical differences, the main
messages of the community rhetoric are the same in the two religious leaders
tweets, namely accepting each other to live together.
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... However, recognizing that the Dalai Lama only has one account in English, this study was oriented only to tweets written in that language. Although the Twitter accounts of the Pope and Dalai Lama, specializes in the rhetoric of the community, while the following study seeks to deepen the quantitative method from computer tools obtaining complementary and equally significant data on the sequential use of social networks and lexicography in religious doctrines [17]. ...
... In the first instance, @DalaiLama expresses a notion of his doctrine through values such as compassion (52), happiness (43), strength (32), love (31), peace (29), tolerance (26) adding also general concepts such as something (27), others (27), life (24). On the other hand, @Pontifex reverberates the identity with terms properly seated in doctrine: god (31), Christian (30), catholic (29), church (26), Vatican (19), cardinal (17) and jesus (16). Similarly, it expresses actions correlated with its religious vision as charity (29), philanthrophy (25), pray (21), allow (15). ...
Social media stands out as the main setting of interaction within the digital ecosystem permeating the communication of religious leaders. Admitting such a premise, the following research establishes a descriptive analysis of the interaction carried out by Pope Francis and Dalai Lama in their respective Twitter accounts determining variables such as frequency of publication, use of hashtags and culminating in the revision of the lexicon used in tweets through text mining software tools. The main results denote greater activity by the Pope on Twitter in terms of the frequency and quantity of messages; on the other hand, as far as the use of hashtags is concerned, the Pope’s account highlights events related to the religious doctrine he leads, while the Dalai Lama focuses on its application to current situations in the global situation. In the third objective, the lexicon incorporated by both in their messages differs. While the Pope focuses on promoting institutional identity, the Dalai Lama builds his tweets on general human values. In short, it can be concluded that the following research manages to deepen the paradigmatic axis by combining it with the dissemination in digital networks.
... This is the sense in which the 14 th Dalai Lama speaks about it when he explains that reality carries change in itselfmore precisely, it is both the part and the mirror of change (Tóth and Farkas, 2019). The book called "Small is beautiful" is often defined as a "green" and Buddhist economy guideline Schumacher (1973), its thoughts are quite the same as the above-mentioned conscious thinking, view of life and lifestyle approaches. Furthermore, it shows intellectual similarity to the messages of the following chapter offering an insight into the correlations of sustainability and its organic part, accessibility-providing activity. ...
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Introduction and aim of the paper: The principles of sustainability are becoming increasingly important in the philosophy and practice of tourism. One dimension of this is the provision of accessibility. Making facilities accessible is interpreted by most as the elimination of physical barriers to movement and dislocation in the “community living space”. In our opinion, however, in accessibility physical realisation is not the only interpretation: in the interpretation of existential philosophy, one basic human characteristic is man’s barrier-dismantling and existentially handicapped character – so accessibility and our definition of disability are two of those basis characteristics that make us humans. Using the methodology of literature review, hermeneutical research and the findings of an extended online and face-to-face survey, the authors come to the conclusion that accessibility is more than making physical living space accessible, and they reconsider the frameworks of sustainability.
... The two banally simple examples above demonstrate again how conventional and witless the lives of people living in the Western hemisphere have become [33]. They identify emptiness with nothing, which is a nihilist, anti-humane viewpoint whose origin is the lack of knowledge [14,51]. The same is true, in the view of the authors, for the correlations between the necessity and the implementation of technical accessibility. ...
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It is a positive phenomenon that more and more studies are being published on the diverse relationship between accessibility and tourism nowadays. This indicates that now at least tourism researchers are showing an interest in the examination of the different aspects of accessibility. Nevertheless, it is a well-known fact that service providers still do have much room for development in this respect. It is sad the examinations mentioned practically totally neglect the definition of accessibility from a philosophical perspective—or its need to be defined, so evidently its applicability in practice and its empirically justifiable positive impacts are not discussed, either, though in the authors’ view it is a prerequisite for the realisation of a traveller’s good and independent experiences. Unfortunately, very little is said in the previously mentioned scrutinies about the philosophy of accessibility which, in the authors’ opinion, is a prerequisite for the accomplishment of adequate accessibility. Coming from all these and also on the ground of their previous researches, and also from the international empirical research conducted in five countries on the travel habits of people with disabilities by the authors, they are convinced that accessibility in itself shows, and leads to crisis phenomena, because the spirit of accessibility is simply missing from both the professional and everyday practical thinking. One explicit manifestation of this is the fact that travel becomes free from experience as a result of partial accessibility—or it generates “specific experiences” that can be interpreted as the negative pole of Michalkó’s paradigm of beatific travel. The conclusion of the paper is that the creation of the paradigm of fundamental accessibility is a justified must. Keywords: philosophy; existential disability; functional accessibility; technical accessibility; accessible tourism
A hálózatokról való gondolkodás, illetőleg a hálózatokban történő emberi tevékenység értelmezésének modern kori tudománya közel egy idős a turizmus tudományával, vagy ahogy a későbbiekben a tanulmány nevezi, az utazás tudományával. A hálózatosodásra úgy tekintünk, mint a létezés alapstruktúráját meghatározó –­ bár állandóan alakuló és változó ­– szerveződési modellre, hasonlatos módon a fogyatékosság és az akadálymentesség[1] általunk javasolt értelmezéséhez. Az akadálymentesítő ember alkalmazkodási képességeinek hiányait a hálózatokba szerveződés részben kitöltheti, azonban ez sem tudja mentesíteni az egzisztenciálisan fogyatékos[2] mivoltától. Barabási Albert-László Behálózva című könyvében részletesen elemzi az emberi élet valamennyi területét átszövő és szinte organikusan fejlődő hálózatok kialakulásának és működésének struktúráit. Az írásmű publikálása óta számtalan értekezés jelent meg a témában, maga a szerző is mélyítette és tovább értelmezte a saját és kutatócsoportja állításait és eredményeit, és a tudomány szinte valamennyi területére (így az utazás tudományára is) integrálhatónak tartja a hálózatosodás paradigmáit. Ám a filozófia, kiváltképp az életfilozófia (egzisztenciálfilozófia) és a buddhista bölcselet világára vonatkozó megállapítások legfeljebb indirekt módon lelhetők föl a kapcsolódó szakirodalomban és a kutatásokban.
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Identity poisoning by fake-named account is caused not only by identity theft but also by valid accounts with impersonated screen-names. From users' perspective, screen-name is an identifier of other users without obtaining any credential information. To prove the originality of a user without revealing identifier information, we focused on linkability, an element of online identity. Not only the extent of linkability but also its direction assures the originality. We assumed that the existence of bi-directional link(s) among two or more entities shows the tight relationship thus there is possibility of being identified as the same users'. As a result of our experiment, on Twitter, identified pairs are obviously filtered from suspicious pairs only based on direction of links.
Although it seems paradoxical, religion in all its forms and functions is transferring and blending with the digital world. This new relationship is altering how we do religion and also how religion impacts and influences the society and culture. Digital religion is an intermingling of our modern mediated society with contemporary religious beliefs and practices. Digital religion is not just about having “religion” on digital media, rather it is a blending of all of the societal and cultural components we associate with religion with all of the elements we associate with a digital society. Two current theories have developed that seem to be gaining traction in the field studying religion and digital culture. Campbell has developed a theory called “networked religion,” and Hoover and Echchaibi are developing the concept of “third spaces of digital religion.” By examining several case studies, this chapter will show that each theory has its own merits. Networked religion may be more helpful in examining official religious activity, while third spaces may be more helpful in studying everyday or lived religion.
  • P H Cheong
  • S Huang
  • J P H Poon
P.H. Cheong, S. Huang and J.P.H. Poon, J. Commun., 61(5) (2011) 939.
  • S Hjarvard
S. Hjarvard, Nordic Journal of Media Studies, 6(1) (2008) 3.
  • M Bastos
  • D Mercea
M. Bastos and D. Mercea, Information, Communication & Society, 21(7) (2018) 924.
Finding Religion in the Media: Work in Progress on the Third Spaces of Digital Rebellion
  • S Hoover
  • N Echchaibi
S. Hoover and N. Echchaibi, Finding Religion in the Media: Work in Progress on the Third Spaces of Digital Rebellion, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2012, 28.
  • T Zijderveld
T. Zijderveld, Online-Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet, 12(Special issue) (2017) 129.
  • J Narbona
J. Narbona, Communication and Culture, 1(1) (2016) 98.