Give Me That Online Religion

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Wiley, Feb 23, 2001 - Religion - 203 pages
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No one can deny the stunning impact of Internet technology upon culture—driving the growth of commerce and spurring communications to a frantic speed. Inevitably, consumers demanding faster, cheaper, more have begun to seek encounters with the otherworldly, thus launching religion into cyberspace. Tracking this movement in her compelling book, Give Me That Online Religion, Brenda Brasher explores the meaning of electronic faith and the future of traditional religion. As the Internet overcomes barriers of time and space, religion enjoys an ever-increasing accessibility on a global scale. Operating online allows long-established religious communities to reach the unaffiliated as never before. More startling is the ease by which anyone with internet access can create new circles of faith. Bringing religion online also has the effect of closing the gap between pop culture and the sacred. Electronic shrines and kitschy personal Web "altars" express adoration for living celebrities, just as they honor the memory of long-departed martyrs. Looking to the future, Brasher braves a new world in which cyber-concepts and technologies challenge conventional ideas about the human condition, all the while attempting to realize age-old religious ideals of transcendence and eternal life. As the Internet continues its rapid absorption of culture, Give Me That Online Religion offers pause for thought about spirituality in the cyber-age. Religion's move to the online world does not mean technology's triumph over faith. Rather, Brasher argues, it assures religion's place in the wired universe, along with commerce and communications-meeting the spiritual demands of Internet generations to come. Brenda Brasher is assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. She frequently serves as a religion consultant to MSNBC and, since 1990, has been documenting and analyzing Web sites of traditional and alternative religious groups.

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The revolution wrought by Martin Luther within Christianity coincided with the spread of the revolutionary printing press with moveable type. Brasher (co-chair of New Religions Movement Group of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

BRENDA BRASHER is assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. She frequently serves as a religion consultant to MSNBC and, since 1990, has been documenting and analyzing Web sites of traditional and alternative religious groups.

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