Religious communities on the internet
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Conference proceedings often do not lend themselves to effective publications, but the fruit of this 2003 conference on The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Religious, Ethnic and Cultural Diaspora Communities in the West, held in Gothenburg, Sweden, is an exception. The nine articles and preface by the editor provide a significant contribution to the rapidly growing field of studies of religion on the Internet. Acknowledging the need to collect more empirical data on Internet use patterns, Larsson notes that research needs to be conducted both online and offline (p. 9). The case studies here cover a variety of local contexts in Denmark, Egypt, Great Britain, North Africa, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Sociologist Lorne L. Dawson provides a methodological discussion on the appropriateness of labeling online social networks as ‘communities’ in the Gemeinschaft sense first proposed by Ferdinand Töennies in the 19th century. Noting that the term...