Diaspora on the electronic frontier: Developing virtual connections with sacred homelands

TitleDiaspora on the electronic frontier: Developing virtual connections with sacred homelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsHelland, C
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Keywordselectronic frontier, Online, Sacred, virtual communities
Abstract

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.

URLhttp://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue3/helland.html