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Exploring Religious Community Online: We are One in the Network (Digital Formations) Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Digital Formations (Book 24)
  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820471054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820471051
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,424,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

«Based on an ambitious field study of internet-based religious community, this book breaks new ground both conceptually and methodologically. It is a must-read for those interested in deepening our understanding of religion in the digital age.» (Stewart M. Hoover, Professor, University of Colorado)
«It used to be that people sent prayers skyward. Now they use the internet. Heidi Campbell does an impressive job of showing how people find religion online and offline. And when people go online, religion changes. People are weaving together a variety of religious experiences. They’re creating a networked personal religion instead of belonging to only one denomination and congregation.» (Barry Wellman, Professor and Director, NetLab, University of Toronto)

About the Author

The Author: Heidi Campbell is Assistant Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University. Her research has appeared in a range of publications including New Media and Society and the book Religion Online: Finding Faith in the Internet.

More About the Author

Heidi Campbell is Assistant Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University where she teaches in the areas of New Media, Popular Culture and Religion. She has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Computer-Mediated Communication & Practical Theology. Since 1997 she has studied religion online and the influence of new media on religious communities. Her work has appeared in New Media and Society, Journal of Media and Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion and the book Religion Online (Dawson & Cowan, Routledge 2004). She is author of Exploring Religious Community Online (Peter Lang, 2005), co-editor of A Science and Religion Primer (Baker Academic, 2009) and When Religion Meets New Media (Routledge 2010) on how Jewish, Muslim & Christian communities negotiate their use of new media. She has been quoted as an expert on religion and the internet in numerous outlets including the Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Australian ABC Radio and on the BBC Radio World Service.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barry Wellman on July 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
It used to be said that people sent prayers skyward. Now they use the internet. Heidi Campbell does an impressive job of showing how people find religion online and offline. And when people go online, religion changes. People are weaving together a variety of religious experiences. They're creating networked personal religion instead of belonging to only one denomination and congregation. This is an on-the-scene account, impressively combining reportage and theory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on September 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
For centuries religion was limited to the spoken word backed up by a precious few documents laboriously copied by hand. It should be no surprise that when printing was invented, the first document to be printed in volume was the Gutenberg Bible. Then as radio and subsequently television became available so did the religious use of the new media. With each advance the ability to communicate expanded in volume and shrank in cost.

It should then be no surprise that as the new electronic media became available the churches began to take advantage of the new possibilities offered. As Catholic Archbishop Chaput said, 'For us to miss the opportunity new technologies give us to preach and educate and inform would be harmful to the mission of the church.'

This book discusses research on how religions have used the Internet and e-mail to expand their ministry. And how individuals have used these same media to find what they seek in religion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clint Schnekloth on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-researched and helpful book illustrates how quickly the landscape changes in the digital world. Just about the time you think you have scaled the mountain and reached the peak, the mountain itself changes locations. In this case, Campbell's book is a dissertation on religious communion online, and she uses three e-mail based groups (listservs) as her ethnographic research base.
I remember the heady days of listservs. I was on a few throughout the nineties, and was sometimes a passionate and even over-zealous participant. I remember one listserv in particular, something on theology and the emergent church, that kept me coming back to my computer every few minutes to see if a new comment had been posted. The amount of intellectual energy and emotional ardor invested in the discussions was extraordinary. Some debates would get my heart racing, and it is definitely the case that many of the discussions (conducted during the years while I was in seminary and on the field in global missions) shaped how I think of faith and the church yet today.

So reading Campbell's book was like an exercise in nostalgia, the only problem being that I would not have expected to feel nostalgia reading a book written in 2005 and research in the early part of the 21st century. It is moments like these when I realize just how quickly our culture and media are changing around us.

On the other hand, things may not be changing as quickly as I think.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Campbell's work in written in a scholarly, yet simplistic style. Particularly relevant to what I was studying was her definition of a "spiritual community." The historical background and in-depth definitions were very pertinent to my studies. A definite recommend.

Alexandra Kealey
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