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Computer-mediated religion: religion on the internet at the turn of the twenty-first century

TitleComputer-mediated religion: religion on the internet at the turn of the twenty-first century
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsBeckerlegge, G
Book TitleFrom Sacred Text to the Internet
CityAldershot, UK
Computer, internet, religion, twenty-first century

This study demonstrates how diaspora religious traditions utilized the Internet to develop significant network connections among each other and also to their place of origins. By examining the early Usenet system, I argue that the religious beliefs and practices of diaspora religious traditions were a motivating factor for developing Usenet groups where geographically dispersed individuals could connect with each other in safe, supportive, and religiously tolerant environments. This article explores the new forms of religious practices that began to occur on these sites, focusing on the manner in which Internet technology and the World Wide Web were utilized for activities such as long-distance ritual practice, cyber pilgrimage, and other religiously-motivated undertakings. Through these new online religious activities, diaspora groups have been able to develop significant connections not only among people, but also between people and the sacred homeland itself.