Studying Change in Religious Organizations: A Discourse-Centered Framework

Marcus Moberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


This article highlights the discourse-driven nature of contemporary processes of religious change. Drawing on the textually-oriented discourse theory and discourse analysis of Fairclough supplemented by additional perspectives from organizational discourse studies, the article outlines a discourse-centered analytic framework for the empirical study of the changing discursive practices and modus operandi of contemporary religious organizations. The framework consists of four analytic factors, each of which highlight the role that discourse plays at various levels of processes of religious organizational change. The article demonstrates the application of the framework in actual practice in relation to empirical examples from five traditional Christian churches in three different national contexts, thus bringing the tangible effects of changing discursive practices on the operations and practices of religious organizations into clear focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages26
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • discourse analysis
  • religious organizational change
  • religious organizations


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