Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Publications in Religion and the Internet

After doing a regular bi-monthly literature review online I have come across a few neew studies and articles on religion and the Internet that look worth checking out.

First in Islam and the Internet, the journal Contemporary Islam has published a piece by Heather Marie Akou  has written an article entitled Interpreting Islam through the Internet: making sense of hijab that focuses on how the Internet has emerged as a place where Muslims from diverse backgrounds can meet to debate ideas such as wearing the hijab.

In the study of Buddhism a Recent PhD from University of Queensland-Australia entitled Buddhist Meditation Through the Medium of the Internet investigates extent to which the rituals constitutive of the Buddhist practice of meditation have been achieved by Cybersanghas. Joanne Miller studies online mediation websites to look at the limitation of online religious experiences.

The journal of Asian Social Science has published a study on interface between religiosity and Internet use of Filipino migrants in Japan  that creates long-distance ritual practice entitled Religiosity Online: Holy Connections with the Homeland by Filipino Migrants in Japan.

I highly recommend Sanderson & Cheong's study of  how fans of deceased celebrities create and disseminate web-based memorials using new social media practices in Expanding Tweeting Prayers and Communicating Grief Over Michael Jackson Online in the journal the Bulletin of Science Technology Society.

And finally, I am looking forward to reading Bobkowski &  Kalyanaraman's study on the Effects of Online Christian Self-Disclosure on Impression Formation in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion which looks at the extent to which Christian identity is assumed  in social networking profiles by viewers.

Happy Reading!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review of When Religion Meets New Media

Today I came across a review of my new book When Religion Meets New Media that appeared this month in Communication Research Trends, a quarterly journal focused on state of the field and review essays on research related to media, religion and culture. I was pleasantly surprised to find this summary and assessment written by Claire Badaracco of Marquette University online, and honored by her description of my book stating...

Heidi Campbell examines how religions negotiate borders and the social and cultural    processes of meaning-making using new media technology. This work has advanced the field as Campbell makes a compelling case for her argument that a robust scholarly approach within the study of media, religion, and culture is needed as it applies to media technology. The author provides the rigorous, comprehensive level of analysis grounding her discussion in the history and traditions of the community as determinative of the currency and wisdom informing new media use, and how orthodox and fundamentalist believers' "core values" (p. 88) contextualize their uses of new media.

To read the full review which provides a detailed description of the book's contents check out this link.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Considering Inter-Religious Dialogue Online

Over the past decade there has been continued debate as to whether the internet simply encourages communities of consensus or can be used to bridge communication gaps and encourage diverse and heterogenous relations.  The Huffington Post engaged these issues recently  in an article entitled Cyber Dialogue: The Future of Interreligious Engagement. In it the author stress how social networking sites help to religious communities communicate their messages internally and externally and asks to what extend can/do online forums encourage inter-religious dialogue. He sites successful examples such as Patheos.  Othe notable examples could be Children of Abraham  or Beliefnet.

Related to this a call has been issues for nominations and self-nominations for Contributing Scholars for a new blog, called State of Formation. The blog is sponsored by Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, in partnership with the Parliament of the World's Religions and seeks to engage religious and philosophical thinker on questions related to life in a religiously pluralistic society. The call goes out to young scholars and/or religious leaders  who are currently learning about and reflecting on religious and moral issues who see a unique opportunity for public dialogue and mentoring on issues related to inter-religious discourse. The program also offers travel grants. Apply here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can an online community be a church ? IRS says "No"!

A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit puts an interesting spin on the online community/church question.  According to their decision in the case Foundation for Human Understanding verses the US, a religious organization that primarily holds their worship services on the  Internet (or radio), did not meet the Internal Revenue Code's definition of a "church."  That means they are not eligible for tax-exempt status.

The criteria for what makes a church is not cut and dry. The IRS states that the entity must have a recognized creed and form of worship; a formal code of doctrine and discipline; a membership not associated with any other church or denomination; ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed studies; and holds regular religious services.While an online or cyber-church can arguably have many or most of these characteristics they still hold "electronic ministry" does not fit the criteria (see summary at

The official court ruling is meant to crack down of online entities collecting money for bogus purposes and organization, however this also a huge ideological impact on the nature and definition of religion online.

The full ruling it explains this online church failed meet a 14 criteria test set out by the IRS on the form/function of a church. This includes proving it is "a cohesive group of individuals who join together to accomplish the purposes of mutually held beliefs". Therefore, by my reading, to legally be considered a church there would need to be things in place like formal record keeping, defined authority structure online/offline and ability to clearly define membership and host a "gathered" annual membership meeting etc. This force any online church to function within offline boundaries/structures if they want to be considered/protected as a church and remain tax-exempt. So to have validity the online will be forced to establish offline structures of accountability. That seem an important shift to me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

CFP: Special Issue of CyberOrient

Call for Papers for Special Issue of CyberOrient: Online Journal of the Virtual Middle East

Today we witness an unprecedented proliferation of the internet and satellite television as well as growing interdependency of various media outlets in the Middle East and the Muslim world. This process includes media that morph into each other, messages that migrate across boundaries, and social networks that utilize multiple technologies. The unanticipated assemblages formed by these media contribute simultaneously to preserving traditional cultural norms and religious values while asserting cosmopolitan and global identity; appealing to a local audience while addressing transnational communities; and asserting conformity with existing political order while fueling resistance and public discontent. Therefore, this special issue of CyberOrient aims to transcend the media-centric logic and to analyze the impact of the internet and new media in the light of the interdependency and hybridization within broader social, cultural and linguistic context of the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Aims and Scope
The special issue of CyberOrient aims to bring together the state of the art research dealing with the growing influence of the internet and new media in the Middle East.

Key questions include:
- What opportunities for representation have the internet and new media created in the Middle East, and how has it influenced popular culture, language and norms?
- Does the proliferation of sites by individuals from various cultural backgrounds democratize political and religious behavior in the Middle East?
- What does the internet and the social networks it enables offer to groups who have not traditionally had access to an open public domain for expression, especially women and marginalized sects?
- Does the wide range of views posted on the internet foster tolerance and greater understanding on current issues of political and religious strife?
- What is the impact of the virtual Islamic community on the practices of Muslims worldwide?
- How does access to internet cafes and global connections influence cultural norms in Middle Eastern societies?
- What role do new media such as video games and video clips play in the identity construction of Middle Eastern and Muslim youth?

Submission Details
Please, submit a manuscript no longer than 8000 words to the editors as an e-mail attachment to and no later than 1 December 2010. Please format your submission as follows:

- Cover page with your name, affiliation, address, article titlwe
- Second page with article title, abstract (150-200 words) and three or four key words. Do not put your name on this page or on the pages of the following text.
- Article with references at the end, following the AAA format(

Please note all papers will be subject to anonymous peer review following submission.

Important dates
1 December 2010: Deadline for manuscript submission
15 January 2010: Announcement of results of peer-review
1 March 2011: Publication of special issue

Inquiries and submission of manuscripts should be addressed to:

Daniel Martin Varisco,
Vit Sisler,

About the Journal
CyberOrient  is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. The aim of the journal is to provide research and theoretical considerations on the representation of Islam and the Middle East, the very areas that used to be styled as an “Orient”, in cyberspace, as well as the impact of the internet and new media in Muslim and Middle Eastern contexts.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Religious Apps in a Mobile world

CyberOrient is an Online Journal on the "Virtual Middle East" hosted by the website Digital Islam. It's latest issue features a piece by Gary Bunt on Surfing the App Souq: Islamic Applications for Mobile Devices, which is worth checking out. As his abstract states:

This article introduces issues associated with Islamic apps for mobile devices, and surveys some of the products that have emerged into the market. It considers the potential impact of mobile phone interfaces in relation to interpretations of Islam and the use of Islamic resources, given that mobile devices have widened potential audiences for online materials in various forms, especially in areas where other forms of digital access may be more problematic. The article also explores some of the religious and ethical concerns associated with mobile phone use.

There has been a lot of interest in the press on religion and mobile technologies and apps, such as the Vancouver Sun's piece last week on Faith and Smart Phones and Fox's coverage of Religious Apps. Rachel Wagner is doing some interesting work in this area and I for one look forward to her forthcoming book called Godwired that will look in detail at religious engagement/framing of technology in a digital, mobile world.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

CFP: Continuum Approaches to Digital Game Studies Book Series

Double CFP: Continuum Approaches to Digital Game Studies Book Series (Edited Collection on Digital Role-playing Games and Edited Collection on First Person Shooters)

These two collections will be the first two titles in a larger series of edited volumes, Approaches to Digital Game Studies, published by Continuum. Each book in the series will be organized around a thematic or functional genre of game. Although digital game genres and the criteria for defining such genres are contested and dynamic categories, exploring the promises and pitfalls of genre is precisely one of the goals the series hopes to accomplish. Additionally, the series will bring the insights of a variety of scholarly disciplines to bear on the analysis of digital games in order to better understand the nature of this medium, its role in reshaping civic life and its impact on the production, circulation and contestation of global and local cultures.

Potential chapter contributions will be vetted by the series Review Board and invited manuscripts will be reviewed by the series Editors and approved by the Review Board.

Series Review Board:
Mia Conslavo, University of Ohio
James Paul Gee, Arizona State University
Helen Kennedy, University of the West of England*
Frans Mayra, University of Tampere
Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside*
Torill Elvira Mortensen, IT University Copenhagen*
Lisa Nakamura, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Gareth Schott, University of Waikato
Mark JP Wolf, Concordia University Wisconsin
(* indicates commitment still subject to final contract)

Series Editors:
Gerald Voorhees, High Point University
Joshua Call, Grand View University
Katie Whitlock, California State University, Chico

>>> Edited Collection on Digital Role-playing Games: "Dungeons, Dragons and Digital Denizens: Digital Role-playing Games"

One of the most popular and culturally significant game genres, digital role-playing games (RPGs) generate a rich tapestry of technologies, players, communities, cultures and commercial forces. This edited collection, provisionally titled, "Dungeons, Dragons and Digital Denizens: Digital Role-playing Games," is designed for a broad academic audience and will feature essays that either examine specific games or consider the genre as a whole.

We invite scholars and critics to contribute to this edited collection of essays exploring the theory and criticism of digital RPGs. The collection will publish essays on digital RPGs that engage the theory and criticism of console, computer and/or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). However, contributions not focused on MMORPGs are especially encouraged.

Contributions from all academic disciplines and geographic regions are invited. The collection and series aim to advance theory and criticism by bringing different voices and perspectives into conversation. However, critical inquiry is preferred.

All contributions must be the original work of the author and cannot be published elsewhere, unless author retains copyrights. For co-authored essays, all authors must agree to submission of work.

For consideration, please send an abstract to by September 15, 2011. Abstracts should be 500 words and must outline a theoretically grounded approach to a specific game or set of games. Completed essays must be 7000 words (including notes and references) and Continuum uses Chicago Manual of Style for references. Reprints will be considered on a case by case basis.

Provisional Timeline:
Abstracts will be accepted until September 15, 2010
Abstracts will be evaluated and requests for manuscripts will be issued by October 15, 2010
Completed manuscript will be required by January 15, 2010
Revisions must be completed by March 1, 2011

>>> Edited Collection on First Person Shooters: "Guns, Grenades and Grunts: First Person Shooter Games"

Known for their graphical extravagance and social recognition, first-person shooters have long held a highly visible position among digital games. This edited collection, provisionally titled, "Guns, Grenades, and Grunts: First-Person Shooter Games" is designed for a broad academic audience and will feature essays that either examine specific games or consider the genre as a whole.

We invite scholars and critics to contribute to this edited collection of essays exploring the theory and criticism of FPS games. The collection will publish essays on FPS games that engage the theory and criticism of console, computer and hand-held FPS games.

Contributions from all academic disciplines and geographic regions are invited. The collection and series aim to advance theory and criticism by bringing different voices and perspectives into conversation. However, critical inquiry is preferred.

All contributions must be the original work of the author and cannot be published elsewhere, unless author retains copyrights. For co-authored essays, all authors must agree to submission of work.

For consideration, please send an abstract to by November 15, 2011. Abstracts should be 500 words and must outline a theoretically grounded approach to a specific game or set of games. Completed essays must be 7000 words (including notes and references) and Continuum uses Chicago Manual of Style for references. Reprints will be considered on a case by case basis.

Provisional Timeline:
Abstracts will be accepted until November 15, 2010
Abstracts will be evaluated and requests for manuscripts will be issued by January 1, 2011
Completed manuscript will be required by April 1, 2011
Revisions must be completed by July 15, 2011

Queries and questions may also be sent to

Gerald Voorhees, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Games and Interactive Media
Nido R. Qubein School of Communication
Drawer 33
High Point University
High Point, NC 27262-3598
Tel: 336.841.9174
Office: Qubein 356

Friday, July 30, 2010

Is Apple Really A Religion? And dealing with the aftermath of being miquoted by Fox News

In the past 24 hours I have received a steady stream of email from angry Mac Fans and virulent online critics regarding the research conducted by myself and a colleague on religious language and imagery associated with the iPhone. (see How the iPhone Became Divine: New Media, Religion and the Intertextual Circulation of Meaning) Most of these seem to be linked to an article on Fox News that was originally titled "Christian, Jew ... iPhone? Apple Is the New Religion, Academics Say" but was later changed to "For Apple Followers, It's a Matter of Faith, Academics Say".

An interesting part of the back story is that I was never actually interviewed by Fox for the article, which seems to have caused so much of a stir. I did receive an email from a freelance journalist who writes for Fox and who asked me the following (leading) question via email.

"This is obviously intended as more than an analogy, but is the religion aspect a way of explaining the Apple phenom or a way of explaining/warning about how it has actually become a religion?"

Since I was traveling that day and had 15 minutes to check out of my hotel I simply emailed him a copy of the article and the following brief response.

"The religious like behavior and language surrounding Apple devotion/fandom could be interpreted as an example of 'implicit religion', where secular activities/rituals & artifacts take on sacred like attributes due to how they are used and viewed by some fans. Implicit religion demonstrates technology use can take on a religious role or quality in postmodern culture when it substitutes for belief and behaviours once attached to religion and religious practice."

I also emailed him my cell number to call me for further clarifications, which he did not. From this brief interaction via email he deduced that I was making the claim that “Apple is a religion” which in my opinion I was not and is a gross generalization taken way out of context. It also resulted in bothersome email backlash, and several scathing online critiques of our research. So I though I would set record straight to what the article claims.

The article is essentially about how tech bloggers and journalists used the term "Jesus phone" in relation to the iPhone in different venues in 2007 to communicate different, and often conflicting, meanings about the iPhone before and after its launch. My co-author and I argue that there is a close and interestingconnection within popular culture discourse between technology and religion. Invoking religious language and images provides flexible tools for meaning making, i.e the calling the iPhone the Jesus phone was used by some bloggers to praise its infallibility or and by others to critique it as an example of flawed fanatic fervor.

In one section of the article we do state fan culture can exhibit attributes of what “implicit religion”, where secular practices can perform a religious function for some people or exhibit characteristics of the sacred (i.e. notions of transcendence, adherence to recognized core beliefs and rituals, etc.). In the case of apple this tendency amongst some of its fans has helped build brand loyalty over time in certain respects and weather controversies like tech/pricing issues in 2007 when the iPhone was launched and attenagate.

I do hope future journalist covering this story will actually read the article (and actually interview me) before critiquing this study rather than rely on 3rd party reports. While not a pleasant experience it is going to be a great example for my Media Ethics & Cultures of Journalism lectures this fall on how media message get circulated online and the consequences of bad journalistic practices in the blogosphere. It is also a lesson to me in that journalist have a hard time comprehending and translating complex, nuanced ideas, even when one tries hard to make them clear and clarify their context. And even when you don't speak, you may still be misquoted.

Friday, July 23, 2010

iPhone 4 and brand culture as religion

Today the Atlantic has an article entitled The Varieties of Religious Experience: How Apple Stays Divine which looks at how Apple may weather the recent "attenagate" deficiency in the iPhone4. I am quoted in the article highlighting the idea that Apple functions as a religious-like brand cult and so generates religious like behaviors and sentiments from Mac Fans that build trust in and devotion to the product even in the face of criticism.

The article also cites a recently published co-authored piece my myself and a colleague wrote for New Media & Society entitled How the iPhone Became Divine: New Media, Religion and the Intertextual Circulation of Meaning, were we consider why and how religious language, imagery gets linked to technology (specifically the iPhone) to demonstrate that there is a long tradition of equating technology with religion/magic/spirituality and how religion can become a unique & flexible framing and interpretive discourse related to techno- products and cultures in American popular culture. It is interesting how our article coming out(though written in 2007) at the same time there has been a lot of discourse in the popular media about Apple being a form of tech-religion.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back from Hiatus: CFP Updates

After a nearly 2 month hiatus brought on by the end of term madness and illness I am back to blogging. I have been microblogging at the New Media, Religion and Digital Culture group at Facebook and encourage you join and keep posted with news updates there as well.

A number of interesting conference have emerged in the past 6 weeks some of you might be interested in dealing with religious/cultural groups and their engagement with different forms of new media.

The Pontifical University in Rome is offering a one-week seminar called The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in an Age of Benedict XVI held 6-12 September 2010 especially geared at traditional and new media journalists.

CRASSH at the University of Cambridge has issued a CFP for a conference to be held 14-16 Oct 2010 on New Media & Alternative Politics: Communication Technologies and Political Change in the Middle East and Africa.

A CFP has been released by Brigham Young University for an upcoming conference on Mormon Media Studies to be held 11-12 Nov 2010 with a stream looking at new media and the Mormon church.

CFPs is also announced for the Religion in Cyberspace workshop which will take place at the 8th international conference Cyberspace 2010 held in Brno, Czech Republic on 26-28 November 2010.

An finally Registration information is also now available online for the upcoming International Conference on Media, Religion & Culture in Toronto to be held 9-13 August 2010.

It's an interesting time to be studying religion and new media.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Postdoc in Religion and Media

There is an opening for an interesting post-doc position within digital humanities in 2010 hosted by the University of Umeå in Sweden under the theme is “Religion and media”. The Postdoc also has the opportunity to be associated with Jørgen Straarup and Stefan GelfgrensprojectPinocchio goes to church: the Religious Life of Avatars”.

The Position runs for one year at approximately SEK 200 000 (tax free) and requires residency in Umeå, Sweden. HUMlab is an internationally recognized center for the humanities and information technology. Much of the work takes place in a 5,300 square feet studio space at the center of the university and in different kinds of digital and hybrid environments. HUMlab is based on a double affiliation model where much of the work is done in close collaboration with the humanities (or other) departments. HUMlab offers an open, friendly, creative and intellectually rich milieu for doing work in the humanities and information technology. Full details can be found at:

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Theology and The Legend of Zelda: CFP

I was contacted by Jonny Walls about and interesting project on theology and gaming. He is looking for contributors for a book tentatively title: The Legend of Zelda and Theology. I promised I would help him out by posting is Call for abstract here, so if you are interested check out the details below...

I (Jonny Walls) am editing the book, The Legend of Zelda and Theology, which is to be published by Sideshow Media Group, a Los Angeles based multi-media company.

The articles will be roughly 3500-4500 words in length. Within them we will focus on the way that the symbolism, storytelling, characters and imagery within the Zelda universe can be used to reflect the Christian story. We are NOT trying to prove that the Zelda games are in fact preaching a Christian message; we will be using Zelda’s rich mythology as a lens through which we may examine Christian theology, and give others another approach to the faith.

Some possible topics for articles include but are not limited to:

-The great flood of the Wind Waker and the great flood of the Old Testament; The theology of a loving yet wrathful God.

-The twilight realm from Twilight Princess and the shadow world from A Link to the Past, and the theology of Purgatory.

-Awaiting the Hero of Time (specifically the people in The Wind Waker) and awaiting the Messiah.

-The nature of the Video Game and the theology of Predestination.

-Theology of Life, death, the afterlife and the soul as seen in Majora’s Mask.

-Ganondorf and the Theology of the Devil.

-The Triforce and the Trinity

These are just a few very surface level suggestions. To, for example, point out the way the Triforce and the Trinity share some shallow similarities would not alone suffice. What we want to do is use these types of topics as starting off points that our readers may use to get oriented and feel at home within the Zelda universe, and then go into a much deeper look at the Christian virtues that are present in all great fantasy, Zelda included. Please feel free to come up with your own ideas and submit them. If you are interested please e-mail me back at

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SSRC & the New Landscape of the Religious Blogosphere

Recently the Social Science Research Council released a report on the new landscape of the religion blogosphere that mapped an analyzed the top 100 religion blogs to look at their influence on religious discourse and the academic study of religion. Especially interesting is section 3 which discusses the shape of religion blogosphere which seek to categorize the range of blogs and their approach to religion.

Last week the SSRC asked me and several other academics to respond to the report and the question: How are new media—from blogs and social networking sites to mobile technologies and other forms of digital connection—shaping and reshaping the practice of religion? After some thought, here was my response:

More than reshaping the practice of religion, I would argue that the uptake of new media by religious practioners and the resulting forms of religion online points to larger cultural shifts at work in the practice and perception of religion in society. New media tools support networked forms of community, encourage experimentation with religious identity construction and self-presentation and promote the drawing from multiple and divergent religious sources and encounters simultaneously. This encourages an open, fluid and individualized form of religious engagement ,which compliments what many scholars have noted as a move towards “lived religion” where media resources serve as tools to help redefine religious practice contemporary life (see Pew’s Religion Among Millennial’s report). Yet this religion online is clearly intimately connected to offline religious engagement, serving as a supplement and compliment to the ways many people engage religion offline. In a recent study I found that there are a variety of motivations for religious blogging: from a desire for a more integrated online-offline religious experience, a chance to engage in new levels religious discourse, wanting to make their private spirituality public or hoping to create new spiritual networks with like minds. Blogger’s motivation were also frequently linked to their religious or theological tradition, their beliefs about religious authority, and the offline roles or positions they held within a given faith community. Thus religious blogging seems to be embedded and connected to individual’s offline practices and convictions. (see Religious Authority and the Blogosphere) So I would argue paying careful attention to religious practice and belief online is important, because it provides a forum in which to study in a nuanced way the nature and practice of religion in the global information society.

To read other scholars reflections on the report and the question posed check out this link.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Theology after Google

I am attending a very interesting conference called Theology after Google. It is not at all what I expected but I have found it to be a fascinating journey. The conference has brought together an interesting collection of "progressive techno geeks" from emerging church theolobloggers to networked social activitists and a good helping of theologians. It is one of the most wired events I have been to (so it is a shame my laptop wireless is acting up and not working at the conference site so I can't tweet and blog about it live. They have an active tweet hub going so you follow and back track on the conversation or check out the sessions today via a live stream.

The focus seems to be, as Tony Jones stated on the opening night, an attempt to kick start a conversation on exploring a "progressive populace theology in a new media world". I have found it to be an interesting ride and have been especially provoked by the skype cast lecture from Jeff Jarvis, author of What would google do? and the changes the world of web 2.0 presents to religious communities. While I am still waiting for the theological conversation to get past the level of asking questions to trying answering some of the challenges of authenticity, disembodied mediation and shifting authority with true theological based strategies (there is still today) I have learned lots from hanging out with people like Steve Knight, Barry Taylor, Craig Deitweiler and Jana Riess.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The new landscape of the religion blogosphere

The Social Science Research Council recently released an interesting report entitled The new landscape of the religion blogosphere. According to its synopsis:

This report surveys nearly 100 of the most influential blogs that contribute to an online discussion about religion in the public sphere and the academy. It places this religion blogosphere in the context of the blogosphere as a whole, maps out its contours, and presents the voices of some of the bloggers themselves. For those new to the world of blogs, there is an overview of what blogging is and represents (section 1). The already-initiated can proceed directly to the in-depth analyses of academic blogging (section 2), where religion blogs stand now, and where they may go in the future (sections 3 and 4).

Some of the key survey's respondents and noted bloggers have also been given space to respond online to the report's findings and comment specifically on how blogs and new media changing both academic and public discussions of religion. I encourage you to check this out!

Monday, March 01, 2010

We want Religion Online!

One statistic that caught my attention in the most recent Pew Internet and American life survey, is that 41% of respondents said they wished online news covered more stories on religion and spirituality. This ranked just behind the 44% who said they would like to see more on scientific news and discoveries online. So while this is just one of a number of finding in a report the primarily focuses on how the internet is effecting the news industry I find it striking that interest in religion seems to be growing or at least maintaining momentum, rather than declining as some have suggested.

Other interesting findings of the study are that in the USA the internet now ranks above newspapers and radio as American's primary news source and that the people's relationship to news is becoming portable, personalized and participatory.

For summary of the full study report see:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CFP for Special issue of Online – Heidelberg Internet Journal

Call for Papers : “Religions on the Internet - Aesthetics and the Dimensions of the Senses”
Special issue of Online – Heidelberg Internet Journal, due for publication in October 2010

We herewith invite scholars from Religious, Cultural, Social, Media Studies and other related disciplines to hand in proposals for possible articles which deal with questions of the aesthtics and sensual dimensions of religions and rituals on the Internet.

When we look on the various representations of religious groups and individuals on personal homepages, in weblogs, in virtual worlds or the like and when we follow their communications on religious topics online, the visual and auditive aspects of the medium seem to play a major role. Using pictures, videos, icons, as well as music and other sounds, the internet users can design a multisensual virtual environment which might implicate its own notion of ‘aesthetics’. This might be the case in e.g. a virtual Church environment which is embedded in an area with plashy waterfalls and bird sound instead of organ music or for religious groups in social networks who link to home-made Youtube videos, online games and other homepages. But we also must not forget the connection to these sensual dimensions that refer to and rely on the (offline) bodies of religious practitioners. Religions and rituals on the Internet might most probably provoke emotional or other physical reactions. Furthermore, in transfer processes between the offline and online realm there might be a redefinition of what seems to be an ‘appropriate’ design for religious settings.

As the aesthetic and sensual dimensions of religions and rituals on the internet are so far a mostly neglected area of research, we call upon theoretical and methodical reflection as well as on empiric studies referring to these topics. We are looking forward to receive the title and a short abstract (max. 250 words) of the planned article until 31st of March 2010.

Further important dates and deadlines are:
April 15th: Notification on the acceptance of your proposal by the editors
August 31st: Submission deadline for full article
September 15th: Deadline for comments, requests of revisions by the editors (if
September 31st: Submission deadline for revised articles
November, 1st: Publication of the Online Journal

Please send your abstract to the following Email-addresses:

Monday, February 22, 2010

CFP on book on Church and New Media

Editors: Pauline Hope Cheong, Peter Fischer-Nielsen, Stefan Gelfgren and Charles Ess

Background and Rationale
This book brings together, for the first time in five years, a collection of key articles in the area of religion and the Internet, particularly as new media relates to church, mission and interfaith dialogue. In light of the increasing mediation of everyday life in many parts of the world, this book approaches online religion with a fresh perspective, to account for contemporary developments in media and spirituality, with implications for faith and other civic organizations.

Arguably, as institutionalized religions and movements rush to leverage the Web to improve their reach, religious communication on the Internet takes an increasingly significant role alongside more traditional venues for such discourse. It may be, however, that religious use associated with new media problematizes established faith rituals, and religious community building in both its conception and operationalization. Changes in the Church can also
be conceived as intertwined with a range of other forms of social and political developments, such that new media acts as an agent and practice to challenge and transform the influence and authority of the Church. Furthermore, as ³new² media is a moving target, there may be past concepts that are more able to explain the nature of church life (such as evangelical
mission and systematic theology) or new concepts that are being developed that are better able to address the diversity and complexity of contemporary social and religious life (such as the ideas of social networking, viral marketing and church branding).

This edited collection aims to address and inform such issues and debates by offering new empirical, theoretical, and theological insights into how religious life continues to transform and be transformed by these new communication technologies. Current contributors, together with the editors, include Knut Lundby, Heidi Campbell, Mark Johns and Jørgen Straarup.
We hereby invite proposals for additional chapters (particularly in the historical and theological sections as explained below) that will complement and expand upon these contributions.

Section 1: Theoretical Approaches
This section maps the range of theoretical perspectives on religion and new media. A number of different theories have proven useful for researchers and scholars ¬ but new media also challenge our theoretical frameworks and categories. How far do current theories ³work² in helping us research and understand the complex interactions between religious life and new media ¬and how far are new theoretical understandings needed? And: what might these new theoretical understandings ³look like² ¬ i.e., are new theoretical frameworks and categories available that have yet to be fully explored by scholars and researchers that can be argued to be potentially fruitful?

Section II: Historical Perspectives
This section discusses the presence and significance of historical
perspectives in church and new media research. Transformations in communication media are deeply interwoven with the history and theology of Christianity. In light of this history, how do churches respond to the continued expansion of contemporary communication media? For example, given the close correlations between distinctive forms and modalities of communication ¬ including the broad categories of orality, literacy, print, and the secondary orality/literacy of electronic media ¬ and conceptions of self, community, and institutional authority, what does this history suggest regarding the possible implications and challenges of contemporary shifts
towards new media?

Section III: Empirical Investigations
This section reports on the empirical research studies that investigate emerging media and social media practices related to the Church. Disciplines represented include but are not restricted to: sociology of religion, ethnography and online ethnography, linguistics, and the social sciences and humanities more broadly as represented within the field of computer-mediated communication. Contributions may focus on, but not restricted to, contemporary uses (successful and not so successful) of new media in the life of religious communities (local, national, international). Guiding questions for such research and studies include: Do the possibilities and affordances of new media lead to genuinely new and demonstrable impacts on the life of congregations? What factors appear to accompany whether or not a given community or institution embraces or resists specific media? What factors are at work in both successes and failures for faith believers and organizations to adopt and adapt to new media? How does religiously related new media use interact or affect the offline practices of established religious organizations?

Section IV: Theological Reflections
The last section of the book provides theological reflections on the Internet, to forward the development of a theology of the Internet which is a budding field of research. Although practical perspectives and guidelines for Internet use have been published, a more thorough theological analysis of new media is missing. The need for theological clarification is apparent
since web-enabled applications challenge churches with a number of difficult questions.

Submission Details
Please submit a 500-700 word abstract (including important and initial references) to the editors as an email attachment to no later than April 15, 2010. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by May 31, 2010, and will then be invited to submit a full paper to the editors. Final manuscripts should be no more than 6,500 words, including notes and references, prepared in APA style.

Important Dates:
April 15, 2010 Deadline for abstract submission
May 31, 2010 Announcement of results and full paper invitations
August 31, 2010 Submission of full papers

Inquiries should be addressed to:
Pauline Hope Cheong
Associate Professor of Communication
Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
P.O. Box 871205, Stauffer Hall 462 Tempe, AZ 85287-1205
Arizona State University

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mellon Postdocs in Technology and Memory Studies

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Program for Research in the Humanities announces a call for Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowships in the Humanities 2010-2012.Though not specifically in media and religion they are open to projects that engage with History of Science/Technology and Memory Studies which relate to these areas. For details click here.

New Publications on Religion Online

I wanted to introduce readers to 3 recent publication on religion online.

Daniel Arasa, Lorenzo Cantoni & Lucio A. Ruiz (Eds.), (2010). Religious Internet Communication. Facts, Trends and Experiences in the Catholic Church, Rome: EDUSC 2010.
Religious Internet Communication. Facts, Trends and Experiences in the Catholic Church offers readers and researchers a comprehensive overview of Catholic usages of Internet communication by providing a solid review of the creativity and motivations of Church innovators who have utilized different facets of network technologies to extend the Church’s work and solidify its internal communications. The book features fifteen cases encompassing various application areas, from Vatican online communication, to that of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, up to the websites of Opus Dei and Communion and Liberation offering a better understand the richness and complexity of online Church communication.

Heidi Campbell, (2010). Religious Authority and the Blogosphere. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15(2),pp. 251-276.
It is often argued that the internet poses a threat to traditional forms of authority. Within studies of religion online claims have also been made that the internet is affecting religious authority online, but little substantive work has backed up these claims. This paper argues for an approach to authority within online studies which looks separately at authority: roles, structures, beliefs/ideologies and texts. This approach is applied to a thematic analysis of 100 religious blogs and demonstrates that religious bloggers use their blogs to frame authority in ways that may more often affirm than challenge traditional sources of authority.

Craig Detweiler (Ed.), (2010). Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games With God. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press.
Detweiler brings together a group of experts to explore the spiritual and theological implications of video gaming and together they explore issues such the formation and implications of gaming communities, how gaming impacts childeren's moral fomration and how religion gets framed and contested in different gaming genres.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Haredi and the Internet

Things continue to heat up within the Israeli Haredi community with renewed debates over the internet emerging. After several months of pressure from rabbis and the rabbinical council on communication over the work of several haredi web sites, resulting in several website closing and web masters resigning, this week rabbis have deemed haredi internet kosher as long as they follow certain directive of more closely filtering/monitoring content. Issues over suitable content seem to be more about the nature of how the community and its leaders are being framed online, rather than previous rhetoric that the internet allow questionable moral content into the community.

Today reports surfaced taht Haredi women are also being given instruction on how to keep the internet safe for their families, with such discussion being noted in a Jerusalem Post article entitled Is Facebook Kosher? Advice for torah-observant women included using laptops over desktop computers in the home which can more easily be closed and stored away from families so not to pose a temptation to husbands or expose children to online content. It seems discussion of halakhic use of the internet is now being an issues ofbehavior monitoring with the onus being place on women who work at home, so that their online activities do not to become a source of temptation or religious distraction for their families.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fellowship opportunity in NYC on The Mediation of Meaning

CrossCurrents, an international, interdisciplinary, interreligious journal of opinion and the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life invites applications to is annual research colloquium.

It allows scholars to spend the month of July in New York working on a research or writing project of your choice with access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Union, Auburn, and Jewish Theological Seminaries. They are now receiving fellowship applications. Queries are welcome at any time; the application deadline is March 1, 2010.

This summer we are encouraging, among others, projects that touch upon a broad theme:
The Mediation of Meaning.

Acknowledging the force of Marshall McLuhan's famous dictum -- the medium is the message -- we invite projects that update, challenge, or problematize his thesis. Interdiciplinary work that draws upon the sciences, religion and the arts is most welcome. We also encourage applications from people outside the academy ... artist, writers, journalists, those working within the communications industry, those who have expertise in computer mediated communications technology, gaming or virtual reality. Projects do not need to be focused on the contemporary period; applicants can suggest research that explores how cultures have been shaped by communications technologies of the past.

To that end we invite applications for a fellowship that will allow you to spend a month in a collaborative learning community, diverse in race, age, gender, religion and intellectual discipline working on a project of your design.

For more information about the colloquium and how to apply click here.

Or email: Charles Henderson, Executive Editor, CrossCurrents

Monday, February 08, 2010

in the social media spirit

Today the Chicago Tribune reflects on religion online "in the social media spirit" and how religious institutions are trying to extend the mission and message through blogs and websites. Using new media to encourage affiliation and build membership is not new, yet it is still interesting to reflect on how using the internet is being framed as a key social resource for groups vying for people time and mental attention in an information society.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

CFP deadline coming up for iCS special issue on Religion and the Internet

Just a reminder there is only 1 week left till the CFP deadline (1 Feb 2010) for the Special Issue of Information, Communication & Society on Religion and the Internet. We are accepting paper abstracts/article proposals for a special issue dealing with the how religion online intersects with the practice of religion offline. As the call for papers states:

In the initial waves of religion and internet research focus was often placed on how the internet would drastically change religious practice and ideology, due to growth of religious communities online and integration of religious rituals and practices into digital environments. Much attention was given to the novel uses and trends such as those seen in New Religious Movements online where once fringe or secretive religious groups were given a public platform making them more visible. Focus was also placed on how mainstream religions, such as Christianity and Islam, were appropriating to new media technologies or critiquing internet use and with a particular focus on the United states and Western Europe. As the internet has become increasingly embedded in the everyday lives of many researchers attention is now being drawn to the connection between online and offline religious practice, structures and belief. Furthermore, the rise of new software and models of internet communication, often referred to as Web 2.0, has created a heightened interest in issues of user lead content creation and web based social interaction. At the heart of these developments is an important issue, considering to what degree spiritual practices online are transformative or to what extent they reflect larger changes in religious culture and institutions offline. This special issue of Information, Communication and Society seeks to explore this area by considering what we think we know about the relationship between online and offline religion and what issues are still are in need of more detailed investigation.

More details related to the CFP can be found here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Where CD-ROMS and Torah Study come Together

While Ultra-Orthodox Groups in Israel debate over valid uses of the internet, other sectors of the Jewish community are readily appropriating new tech for religious purposes. Using computers to study Torah has become a popular and common example of this embrace include the Judaic Responsa Project and the DBS Torah CD. A recent essay in Haartz provides some detail on the thinking behind CD-ROM study aids, and talk of Jewoooogle for Torah study.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Social in the Glue of the Network: Report on social networking

Today the Economist posted a very interesting report on the state of social networking online. Global swap shops -Why Social Networking has grown so Fast does not deal with religion online, it does provide an interesting review of the current trends in social networking and the emerging "network effect" of how media audience respond to new technologies. It also makes some interesting observations about facebook being in the business of memory production and documentation. It is worth a read.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Summer School on Digital Religion. Research in Virtual 3D Environments

University of Bremen is hosting an interesting Summer School on “Digital Religion. Research in Virtual 3D Environments". The school will be held in Bremen (Germany) from July 30 to August 9th. The course is mainly addressed to graduate and postgraduate students, but undergraduates with experience in the field are also
very welcome to apply!

As a cooperation of the University of Bremen and the Jacobs-University (Bremen) the Summer course will broach the issue of the relevance of new environments like "Second Life" or "World of Warcraft" for nowadays culture and social life with special focus on rituals and religions.

Instructed by more than 10 international teachers, the participants of the Summer School will engage into the interdisciplinary study of practical methods and theoretical approaches for the scientific handling of ritual and media. The media will not only be subject to methodological, theoretical and practical research and discussion but will also serve as platform for academic exchange and teaching. After this Summer School participants will be able to design and perform research projects on religion in and within Virtual Worlds.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ultra-orthodox rabbbis call for a boycott of community Web sites

Israeli Ultra-orthodox rabbis this week called for a boycott of community focused Web sites. This is part of an ongoing debate since 1999 when the Belz community called for a ban of the internet for religious Jews. Concern about whether or not the internet is a permissible technology for this typically closed community have been raised on a regular basis over the past decade. A fresh wave of heated debates emerged in December 2009 resulting in the resignation of several key ultra-Orthodox web masters from well known sites such as Bharedi Haredim. Current concerns seem to be about these websites making private community discussion more public and the increased ability for community member to share their opinions in ways that are perceived as being slanderous or gossiping especially to religious leaders. For more details see: Rabbis Say Web Sites Not Kosher.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Go forth and blog

Since the 1990s the Catholic church have been ready adopters of the Internet and new technologies to get their message out. This week the pope openly advocated that priests embrace blogging "to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources". His message upheld the longstanding Catholic social communication tradition which sees media as "gifts from God" to be use to benefit the ministries of the Church. For more details check out the story at Pope: Go Forth and Blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Providing Spiritual Relief through Solar-Powered Audio Bibles

An organization called Faith Comes By Hearing is sending a unique type of technological aid to disaster victims in Haiti in the form of solar-powered Audio Bibles known as Proclaimers that can transmit the scripture in Haitian Creole to crowds of up to 300 listeners at one time. The group also offer an MP3 Bible is a collection of compressed audio files that can be uploaded to your personal computer and Biblesticks which are digital audio players that come pre-loaded with an entire Audio New Testament. The organization's aim is to use digital audio technology to disseminate bibles into the developing world. This is a unique missionary response to the current situation in Haiti.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vatican critiques enchanting technology of Avatar

The blockbuster hit Avatar came under criticism of the Vatican over the weekend, which was slated for release in Italy this week. The consensus over the controversy seems to be that the the Church feels that the “stupefying, enchanting technology” does not make up for it's problematic messages related to nature worship, as the NYT's highlighted in its article. AP reports suggested a concerns that the audience might be seduced by the latest computer graphics and fail to decipher what it seems as a problematic spiritual message. Many reports noted the fact the Vatican described Avatar as "bland" while other bloggers and critics have highlighted racist and anti-military undertones. For those who have watched the film I would say I would agree. The movie was a 3 hour epics that was visually tantalization, and beautiful at points, especially in 3D, that left me with a digital induced headache and an empty feeling due to the thin plot. What do other thinks? Do the graphics make up for the controversy?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day Conference on Virtualisation and Society in Edinburgh

If you find yourself in Edinburgh, Scotland next week you might be interested in a free day conference sponsored by the Church of Scotland.

The conference is on Virtualisation and Society and the aim is to reflect on how society and the Church are being impacted upon due to the rise of digital networked technologies. They have assembled an interesting panel of scholars and researchers to talk on a variety of issues related to virtuality and technology and I have been asked to speak on religion and the internet, albeit virtually via skype.

The event will be held Thursday Jan 21st and is open to the public (but you have to RSVP). For more details check this link at the CofS website.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Confession and Absolution Online

A friend of mine blogged today about finding absolution on the internet where he writes about services such as , that offer people space for public confession of their wrongs and an absolution via the internet public. There are dozens of these sites out there (,, etc) and even runs a weekly contest where readers can vote for the best apology of the week.

This is just another example of how the internet is becoming a mediator in our private and personal lives which has interesting religious implications. There has been debate for over a decade on whether or not confession in the Catholic tradition can or should be heard online via email, chat or even text messaging. Although the Catholic church does not endorse such practices, they still exist which raises the question in a culture that allows us to do most of our daily tasks online as well as facilitate religious rituals such as prayer and worship why not confession?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God

Publishers's Weekly has just come out with a positive review of Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God a book soon to be released on religion and video games edited by Craig Detweiler. I was especially please to see that my chapter on Islamogaming earned a special mention. See what they have to say here:

Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God Edited by Craig Detweiler. Westminster John Knox, $19.95 paper (241p) ISBN 978-0-664-23277-1

Rather than write off as childish one of the most influential popular culture phenomena ever, Detweiler (Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century) assembles a savvy group of experts to explore the spiritual and theological implications of video gaming. Those not familiar with the contemporary scene will be amazed to discover how far video games have evolved since the days of Pac Man and Space Invaders. Video games, as a number of these scholars point out, have integrated a narrative aspect that is fascinating and complex—the characters have literally become three-dimensional. Some of the other important issues raised include the power of gaming to build virtual communities, the ways games can help children develop virtues, and the myriad ways religion is portrayed. Especially compelling is an examination of how Muslims are characterized in games. These essayists are fans who lovingly approach and reproach video games, and they earnestly hope that all who pick up a joystick will reflect on the spiritual possibilities. (Feb.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Google and Islam: censorship or technological glitch?

Online reports this week accused Google of religious favoritism, or problems with their search coding resulting with Islam being treated differently than other religion in search requests. Stories such as "Islam Is': Google Glitch, or Religious Favoritism?" and Fox's What's Islam? Don't Ask Google highlighted the fact that typing in the phrase "Islam is" to the search engine caused the auto-response frame to disappear. These reports and assertions raised many questions and accusations of censorship, such as Wired's piece on
Epicenter The Business of Tech Is Google Censoring Islam Suggestions? Google's response attempted to clarify it's search policy and describe it simply as a software problem. However the fact this made national news suggests that technological problems have significant social impacts in a digital age.

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Article: Searching for salvation Online

Bernard J. Jansen, Andrea Tapia,and Amanda Spink have an interesting forthcoming article entitled: Searching for salvation: An analysis of US religious searching on the World Wide Web.

This seems to be a very interesting and important study as it show and continued growth in religious online practice and points to the fact that religion online affirms traditional religious affiliations rather than spiritual seeking

Their full abstract is as follows:

The goals of this research were to answer three questions. How predominant is religious searching online? How do people interact with Web search engines when searching for religious information? How effective are these interactions in locating relevant information? Specifically, referring to a US demographic, we analyzed five data sets from Web search engine, collected between 1997 and 2005, of over a million queries each in order to investigate religious searching on the Web. Results point to four key findings. First, there is no evidence of a decrease in religious Web-searching behaviors. Religious interest is a persistent topic of Web searching. Second, those seeking religious information on the Web are becoming slightly more interactive in their searching. Third, there is no evidence for a move away from mainstream religions toward non-mainstream religions since the majority of the search terms are associated with established religions. Fourth, our work does not support the hypothesis that traditional religious affiliation is associated with lower adoption of or sophistication with technology. These factors point to the Web as a potentially usefully communication medium for a variety of religious organizations.

For a view of the in-press proof check here.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Gorgias Book Grant Program

Though not necessarily strictly geared towards religion and new media, Gorgias Press has an interesting grant program open to grad students doing work in religion which I though was worth posting.

Gorgias Press offers annually the Gorgias Book Grant, a program offers outstanding graduate students grants in the form of Gorgias Press publications. Grants consist of books in the value of $500.00 per grant. Each year, two grants are distributed.

2009-2010 Grant Field: Any field within the scope of Gorgias Publications
Application Deadline: January 31, 2010

Candidate must be enrolled in a graduate program (Master's or Ph.D.) in an accredited university or an institution of learning in the field of the grant.
Candidate must have the equivalent of a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Send by mail the following items to: Gorgias Press LLC, Book Grants Program, 180 Centennial Ave., Suite 3 Piscataway, NJ 08854. (All documents, apart from official transcripts, must be in English. Part 1 and 2 of the application can be emailed to Christine Kiraz,

A letter indicating your interests in your field and plans for the future.
A two-page description of your thesis, or a one-page description of your course work in the case of course-based programs. Official transcripts of the previous 2 years of university education. If the institutions you come from do not give out transcripts please contacts us to make alternative arrangements to satisfy this requirement. Two letters of recommendations from professors familiar with your work (one must be your current supervisor in the field of the grant).

For more information click here.

Conference: Divining the Message, Mediating the Divine

Divining the Message, Mediating the Divine is a conference hosted by the Columbia University Religion Graduate Students Association, 1-3 April 2010 at Columbia University in New York City.

Whether sacred symbols or sanctioned authorities, intermediaries have been both conduits for and barriers to access to the divine. Mediating objects, forms, rituals, and people have long been central to religious practice and belief. They are conditions of both possibility and impossibility, at one and the same time providing glimpses of the heavens and anchoring us to the earth.

New media technologies have transformed not only how people commune with one another, but also how they communicate with the divine. With the printing press and telephone wires, and with television and the internet, we can now consider whether our message to the divine is best delivered by letter, email, voicemail, or text message. While many still attend brick and mortar churches, build a sukkah in their backyard, or chant at a Shinto shrine, the current moment of technological acceleration has changed the ways in which many people practice religion. Some study Buddhism in the virtual gaming world of Second Life, others visit a satellite campus of Saddleback Church to see Rick Warren's Sunday sermon streamed in from the other side of Orange County, and still others sit on the beach while reading the New International Version of the Bible on their Amazon Kindles. As intermediaries proliferate, and as our relationship to old mediations changes, so do the ways in which we practice religion, imagine the divine, and imagine ourselves.

The 2010 Columbia University Religion Graduate Students' Conference seeks to bring together papers from a wide range of disciplinary, theoretical, historical, and geographical perspectives that examine varying conceptions of mediation, including:

1. The media of mediation (print, TV, internet, cinema, icons, translation, etc.)
2. The institutions of mediation (Church, state, theology, tradition, economy, culture)
3. The people who mediate (the Pope, gurus, pastors, priests, seance mediums, other spiritual leaders, and the spirit possessed)
4. Temporal mediations (prophecy, mourning, melancholy, and trauma, as mediating the past, present, and future)

Click here for more info.