Thursday, October 20, 2011

Community Online

       There has been a change in the way communities practice and understand their religions. Since the development of media many communities have changes the way they worship to online. Community online can be "represented as technologically mediated gatherings of people around a specific topic or purpose, with some level of commitment to that topic/purpose and each other" (Heidi). Based on the reading Community, "community online also refers to groups of persons who create, nurture, and invest in relationships maintained through computer connections, or social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace" (Heidi).
       The Christian community defines itself as a community by the way Christians relate to one another regarding a relationship of love, commitment, and faith. Christians believe that faith was the key into giving them a distinctive identity that differed from other religions. They structure and live out their online community by using it to talk to others and develop relationships/friendships. Christians also use their online community as a time to receive prayer and worship 24 hours from other Christian believers. The offline impact of the Christian religion could be an impact that was positive to the community. The offline impact of this online community could help this religion develop in their faith since that is their main distinction. Since they wouldn't be able to chat online with people, they could use that time to spend in the Bible and pray for people that have asked for their help online. Since Christians are true believers of Christ, they could be trusted to pray for others and become more acquainted in the word. The way Christians identify themselves based on the way they use online community changed when the advancement of media occurred.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ritual Online Chris Holland

Chris Holland stated that there are many online rituals but they are different based on the diversities of each religion. His definition of ritual was based on a theory which limits the understanding of a certain religion. The idea of what ritual is and what ritual does comes about from his idea. Holland's idea of ritual refers to whether the sacred is engaged with the people involved. Based on Chris's lecture about online rituals some believed that it had supernatural efficacy and was affective and some believed that the online rituals did not work. People are now using the Internet as a mechanism to facilitate the rituals. The case study that he use is to determine whether online rituals were the same as rituals online. Rituals online deal with texts that can be found online and online rituals are performed in virtual space. He used an example about the Christians of how they found the use of online rituals to be effective. The thing that I learned from this lecture was that online rituals can differ from rituals online based on the way the text or word is given in a certain place.

Ritual Online Reflection

The readings from this week, "Ritual" and "Hindu Worship Online and Offline", reflect on how each writer thinks online ritual will affect the lives and religious views of people of that religion. The ritual online is a set of actions formed for symbolic reasons in order the give out religious obligations or ideas. Helland stated that "ritual practice online is the extent to which a
ritual in its online manifestation has undergone an alteration from the corresponding ritual
carried out in its traditional context." I think what Helland meant by this was that regardless of how fast the Internet is advancing, it will not significantly affect the change in the religious experience. Helland's main focus was the idea of how the Hindu religion will be affected by the use of ritual online. Based on the readings Hindu tradition has embraced the Internet and used it as a valuable tool for their religion.
There are many benefits to the online ritual activities that the Christians use, but they don't have supernatural efficacy. The online rituals use by Christians contains words that can be heard by the use of tone and inotation of how the words are being pronounced. There can be no supernatural efficacy from online rituals because the individual cannot physically do things, they can only can sit and look at a screen and listen to words. In order for the spernatural efficacy to be visible an individual must be invovled. While in service the audience can sing songs, read aloud along with others the text that the preacher shares, and actually get up and be able to feel the Holy Spirit within them. New media as far as the growing of the Internet can affect the use of how Christians use online rituals and how thry begin to experience religious growth.