Religion and the Internet


Religion and the Internet

Religions are represented in the Internet in many ways. There are sites which attempt to cover all religions, traditions, and faiths, such as Religious Tolerance, and Beliefnet, in addition to sites that are specific to a religious tradition. Many sites are discussion groups, others theological debates and some attempt to provide advice concerning religious doctrine. There are also sites that aim to provide a religious experience facilitating prayer, meditation, or virtual pilgrimages.[1][2][3]

Contents

Christianity

There have been a number of attempts to create online Christian communities, usually supplementing, but occasionally attempting to replace, more traditional, brick and mortar Christian communities.[4] It is common for even moderate sized Christian churches with only a few hundred members to have web sites to advertise themselves and communicate with their congregations. For example, Scott Thumma, a faculty associate at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research found that in the U.S. between 1998 and 2002, the ratio of churches with web sites went from 11% to 45%. Most sites concentrate on teaching and discussion.[5] Some experiment with virtual meetings in cyberspace, and attempt to incorporate teaching, prayer, worship and even music into the experience.[6][7] The i-church is the first Internet community to be fully recognised as an Anglican church.[8][9] Its look and feel are similar to a discussion room. Church of Fools is an experimental online site in which worshippers move around a virtual church building using avatars.

After being reassigned to the sinecure diocese of Partenia (a major Algerian city, that was consumed by the Sahara in the 5th century) by Pope John Paul II in 1995 as punishment for his heretical views, Roman Catholic Bishop Jacques Gaillot set up a website for the "diocese without borders."[10]

Hinduism

There are various web sites that aim to cover all of the Hindu religious traditions, including for example the Hindu Universe, which is maintained by the Hindu Studies Council. The site includes Hindu scripture and commentaries of the Rig Veda, Upanishads, the Bhagvad Gita and the laws of Manu.[11]

In addition, there are a large number of web sites devoted to specific aspects of the Hindu tradition. For example, the major epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, have web sites devoted to their study. There is a site devoted to the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage, giving Internet users the opportunity to join the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who gather in Allahabad to bathe in the Ganges. Sites like Saranam.com allow worshippers to order a puja at the Hindu temple of their choosing and many pages have image of deities, which are thought to convey Darshan in the same manner as temple figures. The followers of Sri Vaishnava, Swaminarayan Sampraday and Dvaita Vedanta have web sites, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Hare Krishnas, have their own site, which includes a Hare Krishna Network.[12][13] Temples now webcast darshan live on the internet. In fact, important events too are broadcast live on the internet. For example, the Swaminarayan Temple in Cardiff broadcast its 25th anniversary celebrations live on the internet in 2007.[14]

Islam

Islamic sites fulfill a number of distinct roles, such as providing advice concerning religious doctrine, download daily prayers and for taking the shahadah over the Internet. For example, the Islam Page is a comprehensive Islamic web site, which links to a complete version of the Quran.[15] Sites such as the Islam-Online site, according to Gary Bunt of the University of Wales, provide information about Islamic doctrine in addition to advice concerning individual problems including marriage, worship and Internet use.[16] In order to answer online questions, an Imam or a team of religious scholars frequently provide a fatwa. These are stored in databases, which allow online users to search for their specific query. Gary Bunt has commented this has the advantage of facilitating resolution to issues that are considered dangerous or embarrassing to raise within the domestic framework.[17]

Judaism

Several websites and blogs cover Judaism and Jewish life on the web. Some websites argue a certain religious or political viewpoint, while some take a purely cultural or secular focus. Conservative, Modern Orthodox, post-denominational, Reform, secular, and Haredi Jews are involved in writing J-blogs. Some J-bloggers, although religious in practice, use their blogs to discuss theological views which are skeptical or nonconformist. J-blogs fall into radical, liberal and conservative camps with respect to all Jewish communities across the world. Several blogs, such as CampusJ and Jewschool, cover Jewish life on campus.[18][19][20]

New Religious Movements

Many new religious movements frequently have web sites including, for example, the Church of Scientology, which allows users to take an online personality test. However to review the full results of this test, you have to make an appointment to meet someone. There has also been a series of legal battles, sometimes referred to as Scientology versus the Internet, concerning the publishing of concepts such as Xenu.[21]

According to Stephen O'Leary of the University of Southern California, the Falun Gong's Internet awareness was an important factor in its ability to organize unauthorized demonstrations in the People's Republic of China. The group's leader, Li Hongzhi, was able to use the Internet to coordinate the movement, although he currently lives in New York.[22]

There are various religious movements that have used the Internet extensively and this has been studied by academics, in the field of sociology of religion. Examples cited by Adam Possamai, of the University of Western Sydney, include Jediism and Matrixism. Possamai uses the term 'hyper-real religion' to describe these religions mixed with popular culture, arguing that they are part of the consumer logic of late capitalism and are enhanced by the growing use of the internet.[23][24][25]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Religion and the Internet". MIT Communications Forum. 2002, April 18. http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/forums/religion.html. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Web Sites Provide Foundation for Understanding Religion". University of Virginia. 1999, Aug 24. http://www.virginia.edu/topnews/releases/religion-aug-24-1999.html. Retrieved 2006-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Religion and the internet.". Communication Research Trends (March 2006). 2006-03-01. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-15548584_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  4. ^ "Religion on the Web". Washington Post. 1999-04-10. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/april99/religionweb10.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  5. ^ Larsen, Elena (2001, December 23). "Internet resources are aids for the deeply devout". Pew Internet. Archived from the original on June 24, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060624091149/http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/36/press_release.asp. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  6. ^ Wilson, Giles (2004-05-12). "In cyberspace, can anyone hear you pray?". BBC News Online Magazine. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3706897.stm. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  7. ^ Larmondin, Leanne (2000, February 1). "Attending a virtual church becoming easier". Anglican Journal. http://www.anglicanjournal.com/opinion/news/article/attending-a-virtual-church-becoming-easier/. Retrieved 2006-08-05. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Church plans parish in cyberspace". BBC News. 2004-03-05. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3534017.stm. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  9. ^ "First web-pastor appointed". BBC News. 2004-05-11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3704205.stm. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  10. ^ Spar, Debora (2004, September 24). "Why the Internet Doesn't Change Everything". Harvard Business School. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/2515.html. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  11. ^ "The Hindu Universe". Humbul Humanities Hub, University of Oxford. 2000, October 3. http://www.humbul.ac.uk/output/full5.php?id=455&sub=religion&ref=byheading&code=DD.52. Retrieved 2006-08-06. 
  12. ^ "Hinduism Online". Asia Source. 2001, January 3. http://www.asiasource.org/news/at_mp_02.cfm?newsid=39841. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  13. ^ "Hinduism Internet Resources". Saint Joseph's University. Archived from the original on February 10, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050210230137/http://www.sju.edu/cas/theology/Courses/2141/resources.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-06. 
  14. ^ "Worshippers celebrate with parade". BBC News. 2007-09-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolpda/ukfs_news/hi/newsid_7006000/7006249.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  15. ^ Jaeger, John (2002, June). "World religions on the Web". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2002/june/worldreligions.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-06. 
  16. ^ Bunt, Gary (2006, May 9). "Virtually Islamic". http://www.virtuallyislamic.com/. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  17. ^ Whitaker, Brian (2003-08-11). "Islam at the electronic frontier". The Guardian (London). http://technology.guardian.co.uk/online/comment/story/0,12449,1016429,00.html. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  18. ^ J Weekly Magazine of Northern California, "Local Jewish blog attempts to unite community", Amanda Ogus (Summer 2006)
  19. ^ Contact Magazine, "The Internet: Pathways and Possibilities", Various Authors (Spring 2006) - Adobe PDF Format
  20. ^ JTA article, "From Internet pals to real friends, blogs remaking Jewish community", Sue Fishkoff (May 8, 2006)
  21. ^ Ryan, Nicholas (2000-03-23). "The Gospel of the Web". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3977131,00.html. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  22. ^ O'Leary, Stephen (2000, June 15). "Falun Gong and the Internet". University of Southern California. http://www.ojr.org/ojr/ethics/1017964337.php. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  23. ^ Possamai, Adam (2005). "Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament", Peter Lang Publishing Group. ISBN 90-5201-272-5 / US-ISBN 0-8204-6634-4 pb.
  24. ^ Whibley, Amanda (2005, November 18). "God.com: Preaching the Word in a consumer-driven world". University of Western Sydney. http://apps.uws.edu.au/media/news/index.phtml?act=view&story_id=1342. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  25. ^ Morris, Linda (2005-05-19). "They're all God Movies". NPR. http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Theyre-all-god-movies/2005/05/18/1116361618786.html. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 

Further reading

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scientology and the Internet — Clockwise from above: 1) Protest by an Internet group calling itself Anonymous against the practices and tax status of the Church of Scientology, 2) Screenshot of error message when attempting to load www.scientology.o …   Wikipedia

  • Defamation of religion and the United Nations — Defamation of religion is an issue that has been repeatedly addressed by some member states of the United Nations (UN) since 1999. Several non binding resolutions have been voted on and accepted by the UN condemning defamation of religion. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in the United Kingdom — Westminster Abbey is used for the coronation of British monarchs Religion in the United Kingdom and the states that pre dated the UK, was dominated by forms of Christianity for over 1,400 years.[1] Although a majority of citizens still …   Wikipedia

  • Religion and mythology — differ, but have overlapping aspects. Both terms refer to systems of concepts that are of high importance to a certain community, making statements concerning the supernatural or sacred. Generally, mythology is considered one component or aspect… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion and happiness — have been studied by a number of researchers. The science of positive psychology has identified many components of happiness, and religion seems adapted to satisfy many of them. Some research suggests that both non religious and religious meaning …   Wikipedia

  • The Princess and the Frog — Original theatrical release poster …   Wikipedia

  • The Father, The Son, and the Holy Guest Star — Episodio de Los Simpson Episodio n.º Temporada 16 Episodio 356 Código de producción GABF09 Guionista(s) Matt Warburton Director Michael Polcino Estrellas  …   Wikipedia Español

  • The Princess and the Frog — Título Tiana y el Sapo (España) La Princesa y el Sapo (Latinoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Ron Clements John Musker Producción …   Wikipedia Español

  • Religion in the Philippines — There are a number of religions that exist in the Philippines.Ancient indigenous beliefsAnimism,for lack of better terminology, can be used to describe the indigenous spiritual traditions practiced by people in the Philippines during pre colonial …   Wikipedia

  • The Serpent and the Rainbow — In diesem Artikel oder Abschnitt fehlen folgende wichtige Informationen: Vollständige Handlung Du kannst Wikipedia helfen, indem du sie recherchierst und einfügst …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.