Friday, November 11, 2011
In class we discussed the different ways authority online is presented or viewed. Chong introduces the idea that the religious authority is being swept away by online activities that deal with religious practice, and believe this is a big problem. Some people who either cannot speak out offline or want to reach a larger audience can through websites and blogging post whatever they are thinking, feeling, or research they have done. In the blogging world a higher authority is usually given to those who have more followers, views or subscribers to whatever is being posted. This idea could make or allow the offline authority to become scare or no longer existence. Another one of the views Chong introduced was that online authority reframes the offline authority, by the simple means of reinforcing the traditional views and values of the Christian communities. Through the form of blogging authority has the potential to be altered, from the Teusner article we learned that the authority online seems to be close to the same as offline (et. Clergy). The people who earn their degrees in a religious study emphasis, seem to have the bigger number of followers. The authority in religious communities depends on the community and the individual seeking the information.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
This case study will focus on how Facebook constructs and presents Christian identity. More specifically I will focus on how Facebook helps or hinders a Christian to portray and define their personal identity. Facebook allows a person to create a profile or a set of characteristics or qualities that identify a type or category of person or thing. These profiles are made up of a person’s name, gender, education, job, hometown (where someone grew up), current location, interest and favorite things. It is simple to create a Facebook profile or account, all a person needs is a valid email address and a little time. Facebook allows someone to create an identity to share with ‘friends’ online. This identity created for the Facebook world may not be a person’s true identity; by placing false information into the different sections someone can create a profile for anything from a superhero to a dog, this fake profile. Although a profile may not be fake, in the same way, someone can present themselves in a way that can be pleasing to others. In other words, presenting themself in a false light. How a person allows themselves to be portrayed through Facebook, and who they allow to view their identity or profile allows them to alter who they would like to be.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Doing a ritual online works by a simulation, or script, this takes the person through the process of doing the ritual. By doing the ritual though an online simulation it does not guarantee the same results as if doing the same ritual in the correct or sacred setting. The element of the supernatural being efficient in the ritual depends on how the person doing the ritual (or devotee), partakes in the ritual. The benefits of having the ritual online is; choice of location, choice of time. In the Muslim religion it is required every year if possible for the devotee to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Once there they go through a week long ritual called a Hajj, this is devoted to prayer to Allah and the journey of an Islamic prophet Muhammad. In the Hindu religion, the multiple types of puja’s (or prayer service) have different prayers, gods, and orders and they are different for every reason for the devotee is having a puja. By going through this ritual online the limitations include the all the senses; the smell of the incense, the motion of bowing, the gaze into the god’s eyes, and the chanting of the prayers. In the Hindu religion the puja fulfills the needs for the devotee’s for everything, the blessing of a home, the blessing of a child or marriage, if someone is ill, if someone has lost a job, and if there is war, everything that happens in the life of a devotee has a puja to go along with it.
In the Christian Religion there’s not a specific prayer for every little thing that happens in a person’s life, but a ritual the Christians do have is the Lords Supper or the partaking of the Lords Bread. The Lords Supper to a Christian is the taking of the body and blood of Christ, mimicking the Lords Last Supper with his apostles before he went to the cross. Although this is different in the individual denominations, and churches the concept is the same. If someone tried to partake in this ritual online it may be hard to do without the blood of Christ (wine or grape juice) or the body of Christ (unleavened bread) being right in front of your to eat and drink.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Christopher Holland the Associate professor of Sociology of Religion from Dalhousie University presented his paper over rituals on the Internet. A ritual is a powerful tool for helping us identify, understand, and make sense of social events and their impact. The definition he discussed was a purposeful engagement with the sacred. The sacred is a mix of performance, media, script and representation of belief. A ritual is a means by which supernatural beings and powers can be connected, influenced or coerced to helping humans; but are determined based on the social connection or setting. No longer is it easy for some people to distinguish or change their life online with their life offline. Religion ties in with the topic of rituals extremely easily, gained by the knowledge of church and community; also with the Internet it is not hard to believe religion has made it online. Online religion is seen or viewed as a theater imagination. Many of the participants believe that the religious activities they go through in cyber space, are the same as in real life, but depending on the individual’s perspective and relationship with their religion, depending on what they get out of it. Cyber space has been transformed to be sacred.