Publish or Perish: A Study of the Role of Print in the Adventist Community

Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Despite the proliferation of various forms of media, print remains a popular choice for communication among voluntary, nonprofit organisations. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, with its print-rich heritage and a continuing print emphasis, proves ideal for a study of print in these kinds of organisations. Because of its emphasis on voluntary organisations, this study of print differs from most, which tend to investigate print within commercial mass media.

This study of the Adventist Church underscores the various ways print comes to embody the life and character of the organisation producing it. It shows that the major influences brought to bear upon print come from those who have been given authority within the church. During times of crisis or change, Adventist print tends to emphasise traditional beliefs and positions, with the strength of the response dependent on the perceived threat to the church. Print is found to aid in the development of a sense of community within a group, but thir is dependent both on the print maintaining the core values of the group and the attitudes brought by members to its media. As the Adventist Church has grown and become more complex, there has been an attempt to position its print to the middle ground. This draws criticism from members outside the middle ground, particularly among those who could be called conservative Adventists.

This thesis presents its findings with reference to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but the principles are relevant to a broader context, that of print within voluntary, nonprofit organisations. The salient findings are presented to encompass this broader context.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Thesis. School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University.

Staff and students of Avondale may access a print copy of this thesis from Avondale Library (070.594 M31)

Recommended Citation

Manners, B. (2004). Publish or perish: A study of the role of print in the Adventist community (Doctoral thesis). Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.