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RELIGIOUS DIGITAL CREATIVES AS NEW CULTURAL AUTHORITIES Heidi Campbell Associate Professor, Texas A&M University-USA.

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Presentation on theme: "RELIGIOUS DIGITAL CREATIVES AS NEW CULTURAL AUTHORITIES Heidi Campbell Associate Professor, Texas A&M University-USA."— Presentation transcript:

1 RELIGIOUS DIGITAL CREATIVES AS NEW CULTURAL AUTHORITIES Heidi Campbell Associate Professor, Texas A&M University-USA

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4 Studying Networked Religion Campbell, H. (2012). Understanding the relationship between religious practice online and offline in a networked society. Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Common trends within the practice of religion on the internet highlight characteristics of how religions is lived both online and offline.

5 Traits of Networked Religion Convergent Practice  Personalized blending of information & rituals Multi-site Reality  Embedded/blended online-offline connections Networked Community  Loosely-bounded social networks Storied Identity  Fluid & dynamic identity construction Shifting Authority  Simultaneous empowerment & challenge of authority

6 Shifting Authority Internet contributing to shifting conceptions & practices of religious authority having offline impact Rise of new religious gatekeepers, spokespersons & authority structures online (Campbell 2007; Campbell & Golan 2010) Offline religious leaders seek to solidify their position in the face new sources of legitimacy & influence (Campbell 2010) Internet support Logics of Disjuncture & Displacement, Continuity & Complementarity and Dialectics & Paradox regarding authority (Cheong 2013)

7 Exploring Authority in New Media Culture Traditional Authority based on: New Media Authority based on:  training/credential systems  initiations rites  structural and cultural (divine) hierarchies  institutional expertise  ranking/reputation system  visibility online  social network linkages and endorsements  digital expertise Dawson 2004, Barker 2005, Campbell 2007 & 2010, Lovheim 2008,Cheong & Poon 2009, Cheong 2012

8 Exploring Religious Authority in New Media Culture Anderson -The Internet and Islam’s New Interpreter’s (1999)  Internet offers a new public space giving rise to unique forms of authority that can challenge traditional religious authorities  authority roles (new leaders-i.e. webmasters)  structures (new spaces, i.e. online communities)  discourses (new systems of knowledge, i.e. hyperlinks)

9 Religious Digital Creatives  RDCs – digital innovators, designers & entrepreneurs whose new media work & use grant them unique status and/or influence within their religious communities  Creole Pioneers: individuals with professional-technical qualifications “bringing religious interest online after-hours”  Reformer Critic: alternative & oppositional groups using the Internet for mobilizing their agenda or to witness to their belief in new public sphere  Spokesperson-Activists: institutions drawing on established interpretive patterns and structures online  81 interviews with select Religious Digital Innovators & Denominational Media Officers in

10 Creole Pioneers  Professionals bringing religious interest online  Digital Designers- digital & media resource creators shaping religious discourse & practice due to notoriety of tech/online work  Eric van den Berg, Katholiek.nl  Miriam Diez Bosch, Aleteia.0rg

11 Reformer Critics  Using net to mobilize agenda or public witness  Theoblogians-theological bloggers whose reflection and networking grant them with glocal influence as religious interpreters  Oriol Domingo Paimes, Saecula-Saeculorum (Spain)

12 Spokesperson-Activists  Institutions representatives  Digital Spokespersons- webmasters & digital curators functioning as spokespersons online  James Abbott, Webmaster-diocese of London  Ronnie Convery- Media Rep, archdiocese of Glasgow

13 Exploring Religious Authority in New Media Culture Initial Reflections…  Creole Pioneers:  Creole Pioneers: Rise of unintentional authorities, experience dissonance within communities, framed as competitor, seek to build bridges/educate  Reformer Critics:  Reformer Critics: Online brings offline influence, cultivation of legitimacy

14 Exploring Religious Authority in New Media Culture Initial Reflections…  Spokesperson-Advocates:  Spokesperson-Advocates: Latecomers, appointed /arise in response to perceived loss of power, recognize limits & need for engagement  Blurring of and interplay between online- offline influence, rise of negotiated & performed authority

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16 Thank You! Web: Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies Network Facebook Page: Media-Religion-and-Digital-Culture- Studies/ ?sk=wall&filter=1


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