Sitting on my desk are two recent books that look at religion and computer-mediated communications (CMC).
The first book is Religion and Cyberspace, a collection of essays edited by Morten Hojsgaard and Margit Warburg. I saw this by accident in a library the other day and found the essay, “Utopian and Dystopian Possibilities of Networked Religion in the New Millennium” by Stephen O’Leary, relevant to some stuff I’ve written on religious technological narratives. From the blurb,
Religion and Cyberspace explores how religious individuals and groups are responding to the opportunities and challenges that cyberspace brings. It asks how religious experience is generated and enacted online, and how faith is shaped by factors such as limitless choice, lack of religious authority, and the conflict between recognised and non-recognised forms of worship.
The second book, Exploring Religious Community Online: We are One in the Network, is the latest book by religion and media expert Heidi Campbell. I found it next to the one above in the library and was meaning to have a look at it sometime. Again from the back,
Exploring Religious Community Online is the first comprehensive study of the development and implications of online communities for religious groups. This book investigates religious community online by examining how Christian communities have adopted internet technologies, and looks at how these online practices pose new challenges to offline religious community and culture.
It’s part of the Digital Formations series that covers all sorts of CMC stuff. At the moment I’ll be skimming it, but later I hope to read it right through.