RELS318 Religion and the Internet
Note: This information is for 2013, and may have been updated since the Guide to Enrolment was printed.
|Title||Religion and the Internet|
|Teaching Period(s)||Not offered in 2013, expected to be offered in 2015|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZ$)|
|International Tuition Fees (NZ$)|
Note: Some RELS papers are also available as RELX papers through the Distance Learning Programme.
The presence and practice of religions online and the impact of the Internet on religious practice and on the image and communication of religious groups.
Prerequisite: 18 200-level RELS points
Restrictions: RELS 218, RELX 218, 318
Schedule C: Arts and Music, Theology
Notes: (i) Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department (ii) May not be credited together with RELS 230 or 330 or RELX 230 or 330 passed in 2008
In the late 1990s discussions of religion online (and online religion) began to surface and researchers began to be interested in studying the potential effects this technology on religious identities and practices. Since then web-based communities and services (the so called 'Web 2.0' and 'Web 3.0') such as weblogs, social-networking sites, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, and social software have increased dramatically and have further changed the ways people use the web and share information. Static websites, often run by organizations or technically literate individuals, have been joined by various low-budget possibilities that allow non-experts to publish and communicate online.
Through all this development religious organizations have demonstrated their ability to adapt to the Internet and to adopt its technologies to their benefit, actively reshaping their identities and their image strategies. This course will explore how the expanding possibilities of online communication and interaction are affecting the (re)presentation of religious groups and individual religiosity. After a basic theoretical introduction to religion, media studies and Internet communication, we will explore the presence and practice of religions online, focusing primarily on religious discourse and ritual on the Internet. We will also be examining issues of individual identity for web users and the extent to which the Internet allows these individuals to become (often self-appointed) authorities who can then shape, or try to shape, religious practices, concepts and organisations.
This paper is also available as RELX 318 through the Distance Learning Programme.
Lecture notes and readings will be available on Blackboard.
Essay outline (500 words) - 5%
Essay (2500 words) 35% + website presentation (10%)
Final exam (2 hours) - 50%