Friday, October 14, 2011

Digital Worship: Is it real or make believe?

Over the course of the past couple weeks I continually find myself back at a single question--is digital worship truly sacred or merely superficial? From Christopher Helland's talk at the Digital Religion Symposium to the Scheifinger case study regarding online Puja rituals, I have been exposed to an array of examples in which people find the online realm as a perfect and legitimate medium for worship. Whether it is second life or a religious sponsored text based website, there are countless ways in which people use the digital world to connect witht the spiritual. Though I do recognize that this is undeniably happening, I can't help but be slightly critical of the legitimacy of these digital religious experiences. I mean this as no disrespect to the rituals and traditions of another's religious ideology, but a large part of me has yet to come to grips with the fact that one can have a truly legitimate religious experience in a seemingly superficial online world. My hope is to continually seek a greater understanding of this topic in the weeks ahead. I guess a smart step in the right direction would be for me to first lay out my personal definition of that which constitutes the sacred. Maybe then I can begin to discern between the sanctified and the superficial.

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