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Design and the digital Bible: persuasive technology and religious reading

Hutchings, Tim



This article analyses two ‘digital Bibles’, products that allow the user to engage with the Bible through the screen and speakers of his/her mobile phone, tablet or computer. Both products, ‘YouVersion’ and ‘GloBible’, have been created by Evangelical Christian companies. I argue that both are designed to train the user in traditional Evangelical Christian understandings of the work of reading. Digital media offer new opportunities to guide and influence the user, and this article applies the concepts of ‘persuasive technologies’ and ‘procedural rhetoric’ to analyse the design intentions of the two digital Bibles. This approach helps us to appreciate the significance of the material form of a sacred text as a vehicle for religious socialisation and raises important questions about the potential for digital media to re-shape traditional relationships of power in Evangelical Christian communities.


Hutchings, T. (2017). Design and the digital Bible: persuasive technology and religious reading. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 32(2), 205-219.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 11, 2017
Publication Date May 4, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 20, 2019
Journal Journal of Contemporary Religion
Print ISSN 1353-7903
Electronic ISSN 1469-9419
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 205-219
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: