I am getting ready to head to Las Vegas this weekend for the Virtual Worlds and Interpretive Communities: Opportunities for Global Dialogue, host next week at UNLV. I am excited and honored to be the opening keynote at what looks to be a very interesting conference. My talk is titled"Offline Implications of Online Religious Community" and will look at the issues raised by performing Religion through Online communties in Virtual Worlds. The full skinny on my talk is that I hope to highlight the conditions within our information society that have given rises to the growth of online religious communities and the challenges this poses to offline religious groups and institutions. I will also address how the experience of community online may alter individual’s expectations of community and how authority structures are negotiated will be addressed through several case studies of different online religious communiteis including the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life, Tangle and Kipa. Basically it is a synthesis of my first book Exploring Religious Community Online and a smattering of insights learned in my current book project When Religion Meets New Media.
As a warm-up for the conference I was interviewed on KNPR's State of Nevada radio program for a story on New Media and Religion. Much of the content focused on a conversation on several of my last few blog posts on Tangle/God Tube and my reaction to Bishop Katherine Jefferys Schori statements about disembodied religion via the internet. To hear my opinions check out the forthcoming audio files.