• Religion and Web History

    Peter Webster (see profile)
    AAR Artificial Intelligence and Religion Research Seminar, Digital Humanists
    Internet, History, Religions, Technology
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Web history, Religion and secularism, Religious radicalism, Religion and law, Internet history, Religious history, Religious studies, History of technology
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    This chapter surveys the current state of knowledge relating to the Web history of religion, and suggests some ways forward. Its first half attends to some debates of particular historical and methodological note with which the emerging history of religions on the Web may fruitfully be brought into conversation. These include debates concerning both the Web itself as a technological system, and religious responses to technological change in general. It also sets out some points of contact between Web history and three key themes in contemporary religious history: secularisation; religious radicalism; and the place of religion in civic life and the law. It also argues for a fresh integration of the Web, and the archived Web in particular, with the study of offline religion, in pursuit of an ideal state in which the archived Web is merely one of many kinds of primary sources with which historians work. The second half then takes a fourfold schema of different aspects of religions as they may be studied, setting out an agenda for future Web history research in each aspect, citing works that are indicative and exemplary of particular questions and approaches. The chapter as a whole takes its examples predominantly from the Christian tradition, but would assert that the picture it paints has a more general applicability.
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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