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Title: Analysing visual culture in selected Pentecostal church advertisements in Nigeria : a case study
Authors: Agbede, Grace Temiloluwa 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Using a multimodal framework, I analyse and appraise discursive and visual elements used in billboard and poster advertisements by Pentecostal churches in Nigeria. Pentecostalism is one of the most rapidly growing movements in Nigeria with approximately 40 million adherents. It is also amongst the most radical denominations which divorces followers from the cultural and spiritual ties which bind them to African societies. Some scholars believe that the phenomenal growth of Pentecostal churches in Nigeria poses a challenge to mainline churches in the country. This is why it is important for academic studies to be undertaken to investigate this movement’s strategies of disseminating the gospel.
The study employs a qualitative case-study approach to examine the language (written and visual) of church advertisements in Nigeria. Since Christianity is a belief system based on Biblical teachings, this study also investigates how the Christian belief system manifests itself in the language of advertising. Purposive sampling was employed, and data were collected from posters and billboards. The linguistic and visual elements of the selected data were analysed in relation to the cultural context of church advertising in an attempt to determine the role of such sociocultural influences on communication.
The study shows that Pentecostal churches employ different strategies to convey their messages to target audiences. These include the use of extensive visual multimodal techniques; brevity (fewer words and more visuals); prophet-centrism; problem-solving as attraction; Biblical allusion; use of sociolinguistic features; the exclusion of women as advertisers; and the use of computer language.
Importantly, as a new contribution to knowledge, the study proposes an Afrocentric model for analysing visual culture in church advertising – a model which is a first of its kind. The Bible and Jesus Christ, as focal points for Christian belief, constitute the foundation of church advertising. Other strategies for advertising derive from this foundation, although each advertisement differs depending on how each church and/or man of God interprets specific Biblical teachings.
Description: Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Technology: Language Practice, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa. 2019.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Arts and Design)

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