Friday, February 04, 2005

Impact on religion

While I agree with the comment that religion is a personal field, I disagree with the impact of the Internet. I think that the impact on religion may be understated. The practice of religion has both a personal and community component. For example, groups of Christian believers gather on Sundays in churches for collective worship services, groups of Islam/Muslim believers in mosques for prayer, and groups of Jewish believers gather on Saturdays(?).
For Christians there is an increasing number of televangelists broadcasting from mega-churches and Christian television networks (eg TBN) (sorry I don't know if this exists in other religions). These televangelists also have websites and broadcast their worship services on-line. The availability of an on-line service may have an impact on religion by providing alternative worship services and allowing Internet users to join in social networks that are not local.
If use of the internet will increase social networks and religion has a social component, can one expect the internet to have a larger impact on religion?

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