Abstract and Keywords
This essay introduces some of the key issues associated with virtual religious practices. With the development of the MODEM program and public access to the Internet and then the WWW, online religious activity has flourished. On a most basic level, virtual religion has affected religious community, authority, and identity. However, online religious activity has also changed ritual practices, religious information seeking behaviors, and even people’s religious experiences. Virtual religion is having significant impact and changing the way people “do” religion in our wired world. After introducing the topic and key issues, this essay presents an important case study of Virtual Tibet, highlighting the significant changes that can occur in religious beliefs and practices as they are “digitized” and experienced online.
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