What is the study of religion\s and how is the nature of the discipline communicated to the public? This article provides a content analysis of the self-presentation of the study of religion\s on the internet by providing a content analysis of a sample of 101 university webpages (departments and programs) from 70 universities from 15 countries. In general, the meta-analysis of the state of the discipline according to its public self-presentation on the university web pages point to a rather limited degree of intellectual coherence. Reflexive statements, i.e. statements that self-critically address the parameters of the study of religion\s on a meta-level, are almost absent in our sample. In light of this analysis, this article suggests some “best practices” for online presentations of the study of religion\s.
“Central to questions of authority is the ability to define the tradition; to define how scripture should be interpreted, and to tell orthodoxy from heresy.”
On a recent visit to Edinburgh, Louise met with Heidi Campbell to discuss her recent article “Understanding the Relationship between Religion Online and Offline in a Networked Society”, which presents five key traits of the concept of “networked religion”. These are: networked community; storied identities; shifting authority; convergent practice; and a multisite reality. Campbell presents an overview of each of these traits and concludes by questioning how digital communications technologies might affect religious authority in the future.
“As we find new and innovative ways to teach students, we as instructors are charged (sometimes without formal or proper orientation) to adopt new methods of instruction.”
As online communications technologies become more pervasive and sophisticated, this provides new opportunities and challenges for the creation of alternative learning environments which may differ in significant ways from traditional face-to-face environments. In this interview, Doe Daughtrey talks to Kevin Whitesides about the issues surrounding this increasingly important aspect of academia.