Give Me That Online Religion

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9780787945794: Give Me That Online Religion

The future of online religion is now!

Operating online allows long-established religious communities to reach the unaffiliated like never before. More startling is the ease by which anyone with internet access can create new circles of faith. Electronic shrines and kitschy personal Web "altars" express adoration for living celebrities, just as they honor the memory of long-departed martyrs. In Give Me That Online Religion, online religion expert Brenda Brasher braves a new world in which cyber concepts and technologies challenge conventional ideas about the human condition--all the while attempting to realize age-old religious ideals of transcendence and eternal life.

As the Internet continues its rapid absorption of culture, Give Me That Online Religion offers pause for thought about spirituality in the cyber-age. Religion's move to the online world does not mean technology's triumph over faith. Rather, Brasher argues, it assures religion's place in the wired universe, along with commerce and communications--meeting the spiritual demands of Internet generations to come.

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From the Publisher:

"Over the centuries religion has often taken the role of finding fault with and condemning nearly all human advancements. It is this judgmental approach and attitude which has caused the many social marginalizations of religious voices from the contemporary social discussions. Dr. Brasher's book is an inspired change. Her detailed study of "holy hyperlinks" celebrates what is good about the Internet. She enables us all to see the great possibilities which the internet affords to get the spiritual point of faith and faiths rather than fighting over the dividing rules of religion. It is a very good book." (Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Chalker, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Cleveland)

From the Back Cover:

The future of online religion is now! Give Me That Online Religion explores the ever-converging worlds of the Internet and traditional religion. Brenda Brasher, an expert in online religion, illustrates the general movement of spirituality and ritual into cyberspace (via personal home pages or official Web sites) that mirrors the shift of commerce and communications to a global scale. Far from undermining religion's relevance, this trend has the potential of reinvigorating the practice and understanding of faith-sustaining and reshaping interest in the transcendent well into the future. "Brings into focus what many of us suspect, but haven't fully articulated-the computer is reshaping our spiritual sensitivities. Takes on the important question on how a new technology is forcing us to look again at old and enduring religious themes, and does so in an imaginative and provocative manner." —Wade Clark Roof, J.F. Rowny professor of religion and society, University of California at Santa Barbara "One can find no better guide to cyberspace's impact on the complex passions and strivings of premodern, modern, antimodern, and postmodern humanity that this brilliant, empathic, and unfailingly honest inquiry. Few writers on religion can combine critical acuity and great-hearted compassion the way Brenda Brasher does." —Richard Landes, director, Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University "Dr. Brasher's research and observations on the vitality of online religion are extremely valuable to anyone interested in the intersection of cyberspace and spirituality." —Lin Collette, independent scholar and contributing editor, Religion Watch "One of our most adept guides to modern religion, Brasher provides the first serious look at how the Internet is transforming spirituality and gazes into the always-intriguing, sometimes-frightening future of global religion in the brave new era of cyberspace." —Gershom Gorenberg, senior editor, The Jerusalem Report, and author of The End of Days

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