Digital Media, Frame Analysis, Communication, and Media Aesthetics

Emelu, M. N. (2024). Meta and the ritual of power and access, 38, 3-23.

This article critically analyzes Meta, a social technology platform, focusing on its thematic characteristics as a ritual platform. Drawing on Carey’s ritual model and incorporating Couldry’s media ritual framework, the study examines Meta’s distinct features and their implications for ritual practices regarding religion. By examining Meta’s ritual forms and their role in naturalizing sacred rituals, the analysis sheds light on the power dynamics and implications of Meta’s ritualization process within the broader context of its social technology affordances. It also provides some recommendations for a scholarly appreciation of Meta’s ritual relationship with religious communities.

Emelu, M. N. (2023). Is it Just about Guns? ABC News Framing of Mass Shooting Stories on Digital Platforms. Iowa Journal of Communication, 55 (2), 48-73.

Analyzing news frames in the context of mass shootings is a pertinent and timely subject in the current discussions on gun violence in the United States. This study uses the Analysis of Topic Model Networks frame analysis method to examine ABC News coverage of the 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas, mass shooting. The study analyzed 202 news stories from ABC's X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and website. The results support previous research on legacy news channels concerning Victims, the Shooter, and Community frames. Additionally, it supports recently discovered frames— Empathy, Interventions, Reactions, and Security. The chi-square test reveals significant differences in the frames' distribution across digital platforms apart from Security Frame. Shooter Frame shows the most statistically significant difference (χ² = 109.28, p < 0.001). These differences suggest that news networks' framing of their stories on the three digital platforms (X, YouTube, and website) are not equivalent. There are platform-specific differences concerning the news framing practices and many implicaitons of the findings. You may read to find out.

Emelu, M. N. (2023). Meta Social Technology and Religion: A Media Ritual Theory Critical Discourse, BIRD, 7, 130-161

This paper explores the proposition that Meta social media and technology functions as a ritual platform and concludes affirmatively. It identifies and critically evaluates ritual elements on Meta’s platform. Employing media ritual theory in the context of religion, it analyzes the Meta for Faith homepage. Consequently, the investigation delves into Meta's role in enhancing or diminishing the sacred rituals integral to religion, one of society's oldest cultural institutions. The discussion expands by considering the implications of Meta for Faith offerings in religious rituals. Thus, this study contributes to the ongoing discourse on the increasing social technology mediatization in the rapidly evolving digital media landscape. It provides a novel perspective on the power dynamics of social media platforms within the framework of media communication ritual theory and religion.

Emelu, M. N. (2023). The U.S. cable televisions' framing of mass shooting: a grounded discovery of competing narratives. Frontiers in Commun. 8:1174946 doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2023.1174946

Emelu's frame analysis of the 2017 Texas mass shooting coverage by CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC reveals the powerful role of media in shaping our perspectives. Through a meticulous analysis of 290 news reports, the researcher uncovers how each network's distinct ideological slant crafts their story—whether it's highlighting victims, community response, gun control debates, or mental health issues. It's more than just influencing public conversation; it's about understanding the impact of these narratives on worldviews, particularly on hot-button topics like gun violence and mental health. Dive in and explore the compelling dynamics of news framing.

Emelu, M. N. (2021, September 4). Creativity and innovation: where to draw the line

The concept of creativity and innovation often get confused, leading to a misunderstanding of the subtle distinction between the two. By exploring their nuances, this article provides clarity on why it is important to recognize the subtle but meaningful differences between creativity and innovation while emphasizing that they are still related in some sense.

Emelu, M. N. (2021). Understanding the influence of the socio-cultural world on the formation of priests and future priests.

This paper examines the influence of the socio-cultural world on the formation of priests. Emphasizing the need for an integration of socio-cultural awareness in the training of priests, it argues for a departure from non-reflective paradigms to adequately address the complexities of modern life. The paper draws on personal experiences and theological perspectives to highlight how socio-cultural factors critically shape the human, pastoral, spiritual, and intellectual development of the pastoral life and ministry of the clergy. It discusses the challenges presented by the contemporary socio-cultural landscape, such as the effects of technology, globalization, and evolving cultural norms. The necessity for priestly formation to be in tune with these realities is emphasized to ensure effective ministry in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Ultimately, the paper advocates for a reformation in priestly training, proposing a model that is both deeply rooted in Christian tradition and responsive to the changing socio-cultural environment, preparing priests to effectively serve in today's diverse contexts.

Emelu, M. N. (2019). New media and evangelization: a christocentric theological aesthetics and media aesthetics approach of engagement. [Doctoral dissertation]. Liverpool Hope University, United Kingdom.

This doctoral research thoroughly identities, examines, and demonstrates the ground on which new media or digital technologies can be engaged for religious communication. It establishes a framework as well as a methodology through which the production, creation, and design of digital ecosystem for faith interactions could be effectively achieved. The principles laid out in this work has inspired two tech development works that are underway.

Digital Storytelling

Emelu, M. N. (in progress). Drums of Africa: The Untold Stories of a People

Researching, scripting, and producing a 10-part documentary on Drums of Africa: The Untold Stories of a People, starring Dr. John Kani (intent received), the father of the award-winning Black Panther, et al, plus prominent scholars on the subject area. Leading a team of at least 200 production crew and talents across America, Europe, and Africa. Expected completion of the project is projected to 2025.

Church & Religious Communication

Emelu, M. N. (2021). An encounter: A daily discovery in divine word (Vol. 3). Pauline Publications & Bien.

In volume three of his seven-volume daily meditative series titled An Encounter: A Daily Discovery in Divine Word, the Reverend Dr. Maurice Nkem Emelu provides daily reflections and Bible verses to accompany Easter, Years A, B, & C. Often conveying a tone of celebration and Easter joy, these daily reflections on the season of Easter lead readers beyond a mere encounter with Christ to a more profound spiritual experience in which to begin leading the life of Christ with delight. Towards the end of this volume, a Pentecost novena guide focuses primarily on the traditional gifts of the Holy Spirit as a substitute for the reflections with the intent of helping individuals and groups engage more effectively during the Pentecost novena period.

Emelu, M. N. (2020). Understanding the influence of the socio-cultural world on the formation of priests and future priests. In C. Ajawara, C. & A. Osuji (Eds.), Called, formed, and sent: On priestly formation and mission in context (pp. 101-118). Iykememo.

An intelligent and realistic examination of the influence of today’s social and cultural world on the formation of priests is a critical aspect of priestly training. It is a project that this paper engages. The concern is not merely to raise the socio-cultural world’s problematics regarding the clergy’s formation. The goal is to turn the socio-cultural world’s probable influences in their head and offer a witnessing dimension that could help take advantage of the current context and inspire the clergy to a more passionate belief in their primary mission of being human witnesses to the Gospel.

Emelu, M. N. (2017). How Faith Relates to Hope and Charity

Christian faith is incarnate faith. There is no faith in the abstract; rather, every person is called to participate in the mystery of the Incarnation and to live it out daily. It takes two to have faith: God and a human being. It takes two to have Christian faith: Jesus Christ and the Christian. Jesus is our hope, our salvation.

Emelu, M. N. (2017). Our God is Almighty

The Bible is full of stories of God’s power and authority. As a refresher, let’s recount a few of the stories — two from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. Let’s begin in the historical literature of the Old Testament.

Emelu, M. N. (2017). The Example of Mary

Christian faith is primarily about accepting the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This reality enables us to relate to God as a person — a being with whom we can enter into a relationship. Moreover, Christian faith is about a relationship with all three persons in one God — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — and the way to this relationship is modeled after Christ, the Son, who is fully divine and fully human.

Emelu, M. N. (2017). We are Made for the Glory of God

One of the most common phrases I hear believers say is that we are made for the glory of God. True enough. But it wasn’t until I started writing — after many hours of prayer, Bible study, and research — that I realized that the meaning of this truth is not as clear to many as I had assumed.

Emelu, M. N. (2017). Our journey to God: Exploring the power of faith from Abraham to you. EWTN Publishing & Sophia Institute Press.

A systematic theological study of the nature of faith from the first stages to maturity. Drawing on his West African roots, scholarship in church communication as well as his many years of pastoral ministry, the Reverend Dr. Emelu combines the story-telling culture of Africa with a Western worldview to offer a unique perspective on the nature of faith and what it means to grow closer to the Lord.

Emelu, M. N. (2014). Word for a wounded world (Vol. I). N-Trinity Press.

Word For A Wounded World (Volume One) offers a comprehensive look into the difficult and often painful process of healing the wounds we carry. Written by Maurice Nkem Emelu, this book examines the sources of our wounds and offers guidance for how to heal and reconcile with our past. Through his real life experiences and interactions with numerous wounded people, Emelu provides insight into why we are wounded, as well as actionable steps that can be taken to restore peace and wholeness in our lives. From exploring the effects of physical and emotional trauma on an individual level to discussing how larger issues such as racism, sexism, poverty, and war shape us collectively, this book is essential reading for anyone looking to heal their own wounds or find ways to support others in their journey towards healing.

Emelu, M. N. (2009). Scaling the heights: if anybody can, you can. N-Trinity Press.

Are you looking for ways to make the most out of your life and live it with purpose? SCALING THE HEIGHTS is just what you need! This Christian-based book provides readers with tools to identify their limitations and overcome them, allowing them to reach greater heights in life. It is full of useful advice on how to grow spiritually, as well as practical tips to help readers build a better future. Written in simple language, SCALING THE HEIGHTS provides an enriching experience that gives readers confidence and courage to take charge of their lives. It highlights some key leadership and motivation ideas that transform lives.

Emelu, M. N. (Manuscript under review). Seven principles of discernment

The Reverend Dr. Maurice Emelu's Seven Principles of Discernment is a book that provides readers with clear guidance on how to use wisdom and discernment to make better decisions. This inspiring book is perfect for individuals seeking to become more mindful of their choices and live with greater clarity, insight, and understanding. Through the Reverend Dr. Emelu's seven principles, readers will gain invaluable insight into the process of making responsible lifestyle choices. With richly detailed descriptions and insightful examples drawn from his decades of experience in ministry and professional world, this book offers an accessible guide for anyone wishing to bring mindful intention into every aspect of their lives.

Newspapers, Magazines, Blogs, & Other Publications

What Does Seeing Jesus Mean Today?

In the endless streams of Internet notifications, pop-up ads, AI signals, and binge-watching demanding our attention, the quest to “see Jesus” may seem like a throwback to a bygone era. Yet, the idea of wanting to encounter Christ, to truly see and understand his message, remains as relevant and urgent as it was two millennia ago. But what does it mean to “see Jesus” today? How do we see him amid complex global challenges, wars, corruption, divisive rhetoric, and a constant barrage of information that often muddies the waters rather than clarifies them?

Emelu, M. N. (March 3, 2024). The Ten Words: God’s Universal Roadmap for Success.

Many commonly call The Decalogue the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments is a term which, while not incorrect, especially in everyday language, is not the most precise translation. Sarna (1991) affirms that the Hebrew phrase “aseret ha-devarim” is more accurately translated into Greek as the Decalogue, which means “the ten words.” This article looks at what this means to the understanding of the law.

Emelu, M. N. (January 21, 2024). Cover-up: A Discussion on the Impact of Distraction on a Leader. [Blog].

This piece on leadership looks at how distractions can lead leaders toward bad choices, using the story of David from the Bible as an example. It talks about the dangers of being in the wrong place or letting your mind wander, and how these can lead to cover-ups. The post encourages leaders to stay focused, honest, and responsible and provides some perspective on how to do so.

Emelu, M. N. (January 12, 2024). Answering God’s call: a reflection on what vocation means in today’s world. [Blog].

Some view vocation as a professional pursuit or a particular life status, such as a clergy member, a married individual, a religious, or a single person. For others, it's more about a broader life mission. This theological reflection gleans from these viewpoints, suggesting that vocation isn't simply a focus on a final objective; it is a continuous journey unique to each person's life circumstances. It prompts us to explore intricate human conditions and early life experiences as these relate to vocation. As such, I provide an overview of the concept of vocation and pay special attention to its application in specific ministries.

Emelu, M. N. (January 1, 2024). God bless you: a conversation on blessing. [Blog].

In this thought-provoking article, the concept of blessing is meticulously explored. Drawing from various biblical and linguistic sources, the author delves into the etymology and evolution of the term 'blessing', highlighting its ties to the divine and its representation as a gift, presence, or mark from God. It concludes with an inspiring call to channel blessings to others through our actions and words.

Emelu, M. N. (October 21, 2023). A Case for Individualized Consideration Learning

Do you struggle to understand certain concepts while others in your class seem to grasp them effortlessly? That's because every brain is wired differently. In this article, I explore how educators can use the concept of "individualized consideration" teaching to adapt their methods to fit each student's unique learning style and the implications this has for effective communication beyond the classroom.

Emelu, M. N. (September 1, 2022). Everything in its Place, Orderliness. Reflections. Gratia Vobis Ministries.

This article examines the concept of orderliness and how it can transform our lives for the better. It offers practical tips on how to create an organized home environment, with organizing principles such as having a place for everything, and keeping everything in its place. It also explores the idea of bringing orderliness into our hearts, so that we become more mindful and intentional with our thoughts and feelings. Finally, it considers how embracing orderliness can bring peace and clarity to everyday life.

Emelu, M. N. (October 25, 2020). My take on the #ENDSARS protest. [Op-Ed]. Vanguard

It argues that rather than perform one of its fundamental leadership roles of alleviating problems, the Nigerian government muddies the waters to create more dysphoria of lawlessness and the terrorism of exploitation. The Nigerian government’s indifference in the face of tumultuous insecurity is as heinous as its corruption. It’s unacceptable.

Emelu, M. N. (July 4, 2022). God’s authority over the created order. [Blog].

In this reflection, the author explores the concept of God's authority over the created order. Drawing parallels between physical laws and divine commands, the piece delves into the nuances of faith, miracles, and the ultimate authority of God. The narrative of Abraham's test and Jesus' miracles serve as compelling illustrations of God's supreme authority and His power to make all things new.

Emelu, M. N. (October 16, 2021). Service endures, leading to greatness. [Blog].

This article delves into the inspiring power of service and its journey to greatness. By drawing on Herman Hesse's Journey to the East, it emphasises that greatness is a result of something—service—which requires numerous sacrifices made for others. It is not something that can be bought but rather, it is a life lived for others. Enemies of greatness are considered to be self-absorption and this article further explains this concept in greater detail, providing an insightful view on how service endures and leads to greatness.

Emelu, M. N. (October 1, 2021). A girl that changed my life: way of love. Reflections. Gratia Vobis Ministries.

As a boy of fourteen years old, the life of one girl moved mine more than any other—showing me the way of love. The girl is Thérèse, from the little city of Lisieux in Calvados, France. She is popularly known as the Little Flower, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. To her, I owe an early exposure to what it means to take love as one’s primary vocation. And to her, I dedicate today’s daily reflection as we celebrate her Feast Day (October 1); providing you—my reader—an example to consider.

Emelu, M. N. (October 13, 2020). Look beyond the letters. [Blog].

This article examines the idea of looking beyond the letter of the law to gain a more nuanced understanding and appreciation for the spirit of the law. It strives to provide an insight into why it is important to focus on the underlying values and principles that act as guides for our behaviour rather than just following a set of rules for rules' sake.

Emelu, M. N. (July 14, 2021). Profound beauty—Kateri. [Blog].

This article focuses on Kateri Tekakwitha, a young native Indian of the Mohawk tribe who is popularly referred to as the 'Lily of the Mohawks'. It explores how her inspiring example can offer us insight into embracing our own unique beauty and building our self-confidence. It looks at her life, her legacy and her impact on generations of Americans who are connected to her through their indigenous roots. It also considers how she serves as a reminder for us all to recognize and embrace authentic beauty and positive self-image in ourselves and in others.