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Networked Religion: Considering Religion in Online and Offline Cultures

Dr. Heidi Campbell, Assoc Prof, Texas A&M University. heidic@tamu.edu

Here is the recording of the July 18, 2013 webinar by Dr. Campbell.

Here is the link to the recent article she wrote about this topic.

Here are summary notes from the presentation...

¨Networked Religion represents a loosening or re-presentation of traditional boundaries of religious communities to reflect more dynamic and fluid forms of affiliation and practice.

Characteristics of Networked Religion

1.  Convergent Practice

-  Personalized blending of information & rituals.

-  Internet serves as a spiritual hub allowing people to assemble and personalize religious behavior and belief.

-  Tension: Offering guidance and instruction to people who draw spiritual wisdom and practices from multiple sources and traditions.

2.  Multi-site Reality

- Embedded online-offline connections.

-  Recognizing the interconnectedness or embeddedness of online and offline contexts.

- Tension: Offline contexts may no longer serve as primary source for spiritual connections and knowledge.

3.  Networked Community

- Loosely-bounded social networks.

4. Storied Identity

- Fluid & dynamic identity construction.

-  Identity is constructed & performed online, encouraging malleable self-presentations.

-  Tension: Religious Identity becomes flexible and highly personalized, impacting wider understandings of what it means to be Christian.

5. Shifting Authority

- Simultaneous empowerment & challenge of authority.

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