Gelfgren: Virtual Churches, Participatory Culture, and Secularization
The Journal of Technology, Theology, and Religion ( on Facebook) just posted a new article by Stefan Gelfgren, titled Virtual Churches, Participatory Culture, and Secularization (PDF, 10 MB). Its first paragraph is a kind of abstract for it:
This article aims at interpreting how the Church is transforming when moving into three dimensional virtual worlds. It is however particularly important to relate churches in virtual worlds to an overall changing role of Christianity. What is happening in virtual worlds is too often considered as separated from the physical world, but here it is argued that virtual churches are a part of a general process of religious transformation. Researchers, such as Mia Lövheim (Lövheim 2008) and Peter Fischer-Nielson (Fischer-Nielsen 2009), have made similar interpretations. They also point out the need for a more balanced view on religion online, moderating ideological claims of how the Internet will change religious faith and practices. This article aims to nuance views of the relation between religion and the Net, by adding a historical perspective.