Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent Online

Today is Ash Wednesday so one of my commitments during this lenten season is to see what online resources are available online and highlight some of the most interesting ones. I just got done listening to an online teaching on the purpose of lent found at Praying Lent, run by Creighton University. The site offers weekly audio teachings weekly, as well as a Full Audio Lenten Retreat. Or for those who are busy they offer the text of a short prayer for those on a tight schedule. This is just one of a number of sites I have come across in a search this morning and I am looking forward to exploring other options offered online during the next 40 days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CFP: Religion and Spirituality in Cyberspace

I wanted to give people a heads up on CFP. The Australian Religion Studies Review has sent out a call for papers for a special issue on Religion and Spirituality in Cyberspace. The context for this issues is the belief that "religion online and online religion are now an integral part of Cyberspace. The intersection of religion and spirituality and the Internet is a new area of study (1990s onward) and will certainly become even more important in the future. The Internet will undoubtedly promote the emergence of new forms of spiritualities, religious expressions, experiences, identities, communities, and authorities. This thematic issue will explore some of the methodological and theoretical issues raised with the coming together of Internet with religion and spirituality and, hopefully, provide interesting case studies".

Guest Editor Roxanne Marcotte is looking for submission on topics such as cyber-theology, cyber-rituals, online religions, cyber-proselytization and cyber-polemics, cyber-pilgrimages, cyber-covens and sanghas, religious blogs, etc. Submission deadline is February 2010. For more information check out CFP or contact the editor directly.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Religion in Virtual Worlds

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.

Friday, February 06, 2009

GodTube gets Tangle-d

GodTube has officially relaunched itself as Tangle, with a new vision and services. This new incarnation is kind of a Christian You Tube meets Facebook meets p2p/sns community. It promises to allow Christian to take their faith out of the Church and embed it more fully in their online activities, or have them get Tangled in their faith 24/4. Check out their promo: