Religion and Cyberspace
In the twenty-first century, religious life is increasingly moving from churches, mosques and temples onto the Internet. Today, anyone can go online and seek a new form of religious expression without ever encountering a physical place of worship, or an ordained teacher or priest. The digital age offers virtual worship, cyber-prayers and talk-boards for all of the major world faiths, as well as for pagan organisations and new religious movements. It also abounds with misinformation, religious bigotry and information terrorism. Scholars of religion need to understand the emerging forum that the web offers to religion, and the kinds of religious and social interaction that it enables.
Religion and Cyberspace explores how religious individuals and groups are responding to the opportunities and challenges that cyberspace brings. It asks how religious experience is generated and enacted online, and how faith is shaped by factors such as limitless choice, lack of religious authority, and the conflict between recognised and non-recognised forms of worship. Combining case studies with the latest theory, its twelve chapters examine topics including the history of online worship, virtuality versus reality in cyberspace, religious conflict in digital contexts, and the construction of religious identity online. Focusing on key themes in this groundbreaking area, it is an ideal introduction to the fascinating questions that religion on the Internet presents.
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The mediation of religious experience in cyberspace
Utopian and dystopian possibilities of networked religion
on the cutting edge between the virtual
information terrorism and new religions
Constructing religious identities and communities
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Abelman academic activities Alruna alt.religion.scientology anti-cult anti-cult movement beliefs and practices Berger Branch Davidians C-BUD cent chapter Christian websites church computer-mediated communication contemporary context contextual theology cult cult apologists cyber-religion cyber-religious field cyberspace David Koresh Dawson Digitalism discussion groups Eileen Barker electronic example factor Faith gratifications House of Justice identity construction indicated individual information terrorism Internet interpretative issue Kollock late modern society leaders Lesser Peace London Lovheim motives Mount Carmel networks O'Leary offline online religious participants plausibility alignment political possible posters Posting to Talisman question questionnaire reflexivity religion in cyberspace religious communities religious experience religious identity religious movements religious organizations religious television religious website responses rituals Routledge sacred Scientology Shoghi Effendi social capital social interaction space spiritual Sukyo Mahikari survey thread uk.religion.christian Usenet users virtual communities Waco Wicca worldview York