PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly launched a cover story, episode 1212 today on Online Religion that features your truly. The story explores the impact and implication of doing religion online as it where. Here is and excert of what I had to say:
SEVERSON: Heidi Campbell is a professor at Texas A&M University and author of the book “Exploring Religious Community Online.” She says there are very tangible reasons why the religious experience through chat rooms and social networking sites has increased in popularity — online prayers, for example.
Dr. HEIDI CAMPBELL (Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University and Author, “Exploring Religious Community Online”): In fact, some of the people in my early research said that they felt more cared for and that people, when they said they were praying for them online, that they really meant it because there was some tangible artifact that they could see to really show that they were praying for them.
SEVERSON: She says the Internet extends the “global body of Christ” because someone or some prayer is always there, and she says for those too shy or introverted to speak up in church, the Internet offers anonymity.
Dr. CAMPBELL: That anonymous nature allows them to ask the questions, to get the feedback, to say things that they would never be able to say in a face-to-face environment.
For the full story check it out here.