Religion Online
How Digital Technology Is Changing the Way We Worship and Pray
by August E. Grant, Amanda F. C. Sturgill, Chiung Hwang Chen, and Daniel A. Stout, Editors
March 2019, 608pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5371-5
$164, £122, 137€, A235
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5372-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The Google Play Store has 250 Bible study apps, for audiences including children, Amharic speakers, and people who want to listen to stories.

Religion Online provides new insights about religiosity in a contemporary context, offering a comprehensive look at the intersection of digital media, faith communities, and practices of all sorts.

Recent research on Apple users, video games, virtual worlds, artificial intelligence, digital music, and sports as religion supports the idea that media and religion, once considered separate entities, are in many cases the same thing. New media and religious practice can no longer be detached; this two-volume set discusses how religionists are embracing the Internet amidst cultural shifts of secularization, autonomous religious worship, millennials’ affinity for new media, and the rise of fundamentalism in the global south.

While other works describe case studies, this book explains how new media are interwoven into the very fabric of religious belief, behavior, and community. Chapters break down the past, present, and projected future of the use of digital media in relation to faith traditions of many varieties, extending from mainline Christianity to new religious movements. The book also examines the impacts of digital media on beliefs and practices around the world. In exploring these subjects, it calls on the study of culture, namely anthropology, to conceptualize a technological period as significant as the industrial revolution.

Features

  • Shows how religion is as important as politics in contemporary public affairs
  • Breaks new ground on the subject of media and religion (e.g., studying actual audiences, exploring cultural religion outside denominations, and synthesizing communication and sociology of religion)
  • Features a variety of diverse voices from different faiths to give readers a broad overview of ideas
  • Describes how young adults have a unique affinity for new media and are more comfortable using them in religious worship than previous generations
August E. Grant, PhD, is J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism at the University of South Carolina. He is a prolific author and editor in the areas of technology and convergent journalism and a past head of the Broadcast Journalism Association.

Amanda F. C. Sturgill, PhD, is associate professor of communications at Elon University. She publishes in media and religion as well as new technology and society and is past head of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Media and Religion Interest Group.

Chiung Hwang Chen, PhD, is professor of communication at Brigham Young University–Hawaii. She is known for her articles on Mormonism and media, particularly the internet, and her other work addresses media systems in Chinese nations, race-gender-ethnicity and media, and cultural and media studies in Taiwan and the Pacific region.

Daniel A. Stout, PhD, is professor of communication at Brigham Young University–Hawaii. He is founding coeditor of the Journal of Media and Religion as well as the book Media and Religion: Foundations of an Emerging Field. His other works include the Encyclopedia of Religion, Communication, and Media. His books with Judith Buddenbaum include Religion and Mass Media and Religion and Popular Culture. Stout has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on the interface of media and religion.

Reviews

"Assessing the state of religion and digital media is a mammoth task, and the editors and authors of Religion Online are to be commended for their accomplishment . . . As an authoritative survey of digital religion, these volumes belong in university and seminary libraries among other milestones in the field."—The Journal of Communication and Religion, April 1, 2020
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