Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ritual Online

This week we are exploring how religious individuals and groups translate and adapt their  rituals online.  What constitutes a ritual and how ritual is conceived is notions debated by sociologists and religious studies scholars. In class we discussed two different approaches, investigating "what ritual is" or focusing on "what ritual does". In the Helland reading, he offers us the following base definition as "ritual is the purposeful engagement with the sacred, whatever the sacred may be for those involved".  We also discussed the tensions and debates regarding online verse offline rituals including questions of :

How do ritual work online?
Can they have supernatural efficacy?
Are there any benefits to online ritual activities?
What are the limits of online rituals? and
What needs do these rituals fulfill for individuals and communities?

This week's blog post should reflect on the assigned readings and address one or more of these questions and explore a concrete example of ritual online related to your blog's theme?

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