The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies was established in 2010 through a grant from the Evans/Glasscock Digital Humanities Project at Texas A&M University and brought to fruition with the generous assistance of TAMU's Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture . The goal of this project is to create online resource center for researchers, students and those interested in investigating the intersection of new media, religion and digital culture.
Over the past decade and a half the study of religion online has become a growing field of inquiry. Much attention was given to the novel uses of the internet by religious users and groups,such as those seen in New Religious Movements online where once fringe or secretive religious groups were given a public platform making them more visible. Early research also focused on how mainstream religions, such as Christianity and Islam, were appropriating to new media technologies or critiquing internet use and with a particular focus on the United states and Western Europe. However, as the internet has become increasingly embedded in our everyday lives, researchers from a variety of disciplines have begun to take notice of the rise of religion online and consider the offline implications of online social and religious practices.
The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies is set-up as a space where people can share resources they have found valuable in their research, have themselves written, and learn about the diversity of work being done in a variety of disciplines related to this exciting area of study. The Network provides features that allow you to explore the latest research as well as previous foundational studies to help contextualize your own studies of these topics, help refine your research questions. Members are able to key interactive features, such as the online bibliography, scholar’s index and news section. Together we hope the Network will help to more fully map the current boundaries of this interdisciplinary conversation so we can learn the extent to which new media technologies are affecting religious community, identity and rituals in a globalized society.
An overview of the NMRDC vision and opportunities it seeks to offer can also be found at: http://vimeo.com/44708108