Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jewish Tele-Rabbis

One of my favourite evening activities here in Israel is watching the many different Middle Eastern TV stations. Most nights I spend at least some time watching religious programming. While my Hebrew is not very good so I can't follow much of the details of what is being said it is still interesting how similar the set-up, filming and the interaction is when compared to American Tele-Evangelist programs. The one I watch the most is called Hidaroot, which I think stands for something like negotiation. One of 3 Rabbis will share a message and interact with and audience of religious and secular Jews on different topics. They have a very interesting web site worth checking out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Exploring Religious Community Online

FYI... I have been doing extensive research on religion online since 1996. My PhD at the University of Edinburgh combined the study of Computer-Mediated Communication with Practical Theology. I was very interested to see how involvment in an online religious community shapes people definitions of community and interaction in their offline church. If you want to find out more about what I learned, get a hold of a copy of Exploring Religious Community Online.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Muslims craft their own video games

Today I came across this article from the Christian Science monitor which tells about how Muslim designers are trying to create alternative naratives about Islam through video games. Check out: Muslims craft their own video games

Coming soon...International Conference on Media, Religion & Culture

It is only one week until...

The Fifth International Conference on Media, Religion, and Culture: Mediating religion in the context of multicultural tension will be held in about a week in Stigtuna, Sweden. This is an important meeting for researchers interested in a variety of aspects of the convergence of media culture with religion.

I will be presenting a paper on a research project I have been working on since 2001 on religious identity construction through prayer meetings within Christian youth culture in Scotland, as well as leading a panel on the future directions of research on religion online. Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Following the herd

I found this article this morning on Haaretz online. Following the herd makes a few interesting comments and links to UO response to media and a percieved decline in religious authority within the community. Especially interesting to note is the slow take up of the Kosher phone, a technology I have been following for the last 2 years.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews surf the forbidden web

This article "Ultra-Orthodox Jews surf the forbidden web" is about one month old, but I found it especially interesting as I spent several hours in Mea Sheraim, the main Ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem just a few days ago. UO response to the internet is quite an interesting and contentious issue.

If you want to know more about this subject I recommend reading:
Barzilai-Nahon, K. & Barzilai , G. (2005). Cultured Technology: Internet & Religious Fundamentalism. In: The Information Society 21/1.

A journey into the realms of religious engagement with new media

Shalom, Marhaba & Hello! I have started this blog as a way to help organize my thoughts for a book project I am working on. When Religion Meets New Media is a research project that aims to investigate and discuss how religious communities percieve of and interact with new media technologies, especially the internet and cell phones. I am spending a lot of time online for this project looking at how religion is re-presented online and the interesting dialogue which emerge around religious engagement with new media. This is a space for me to share some of these interesting articles, thoughts and resources I am finding helpful in this journey. Your questions, comments and helpful remarks are most welcome!