Give Me that Online Religion

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Rutgers University Press, 2004 - Religion - 203 pages
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As the Internet and the World Wide Web overcome barriers of time and space, religion enjoys an ever-increasing accessibility on a global scale. Inevitably, people online have sought out encounters with the otherworldly, launching religion into cyberspace. In this compelling book, Brenda Brasher explores the meaning of electronic faith and the future of traditional religion.

Operating online allows long-established religious communities to reach hearts and minds as never before. Yet more startling is the ease by which anyone with Internet access can create new circles of faith.

Bringing religion online also narrows the gap between pop culture and the sacred. Electronic shrines and kitschy personal Web "altars" idolize living celebrities, just as they honor the memory of religious martyrs.  Looking ahead, Brasher envisions a world in which cyber-concepts and -technologies challenge conventional notions about the human condition, while still attempting to realize age-old religious ideals such as 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, meeting the spiritual demands of Internet generations to come.

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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 (2004)

Dr. Brenda E. Brasher is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at King's College, University of Aberdeen. She frequently serves as a religious consultant to the media, and for more than a decade has documented and analyzed Internet and Web activities of traditional and alternative religious groups.

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