1st Edition

Religion in the Age of Digitalization From New Media to Spiritual Machines

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the current use of digital media in religious engagement and how new media can influence and alter faith and spirituality. As technologies are introduced and improved, they continue to raise pressing questions about the impact, both positive and negative, that they have on the lives of those that use them. The book also deals with some of the more futuristic and speculative topics related to transhumanism and digitalization.

    Including an international group of contributors from a variety of disciplines, chapters address the intersection of religion and digital media from multiple perspectives. Divided into two sections, the chapters included in the first section of the book present case studies from five major religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism and their engagement with digitalization. The second section of the volume explores the moral, ideological but also ontological implications of our increasingly digital lives.

    This book provides a uniquely comprehensive overview of the development of religion and spirituality in the digital age. As such, it will be of keen interest to scholars of Digital Religion, Religion and Media, Religion and Sociology, as well as Religious Studies and New Media more generally, but also for every student interested in the future of religion and spirituality in a completely digitalized world.


    Giulia Isetti, Elisa Innerhofer, Harald Pechlaner, Michael de Rachewiltz


    1 Islam and New Media: Islam has entered the Chat

    Ruqayya Yasmine Khan with Ashley Kyong Aytes

    2 Understanding God in the Web 2.0

    Claudia Paganini

    3 Buddhism in the Age of Digital Reproduction

    Gregory Price Grieve and Daniel Veidlinger

    4 Hinduism and New Media: Identities Being Deconstructed and Constructed

    Augustine Pamplany

    5 To use or not to use the Internet to support Religious and Spiritual Life

    Isabelle Jonveaux

    6 Networked Individuals: The Virtual Reality of the Sabbath in 21st Century American Judaism Andrea Lieber

    7 Robots, Religion and Communication: Rethinking Piety, Practices and Pedagogy in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

    Pauline Hope Cheong


    8 Technology: The New God?

    Techno-Metaphysics and Homo Deus: Contemporary Attempts Towards A Radical Perspective on the Digital Change of Religion

    Roland Benedikter

    9 Religion and Digitalization

    A Discussion between Ivo Muser and Harald Pechlaner

    10 Is Transhumanism a Religion?

    Boris Rähme

    11 Are „Spiritual Machines" possible?

    Michael de Rachewiltz

    12 A Digital Spirituality for Digital Humans?

    Lucia Galvagni

    13 Experience and Information: Thoughts on Spirituality in a Time of Information Flooding

    Harald Walach

    14 The Correlation between Ethics and Technology

    Peter G. Kirchschlaeger

    Outlook: Digital Religion and (Dis-)Embodiment

    Georg Gasser


    Giulia Isetti is Senior Researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies of Eurac Research (Bolzano, Italy). She holds a doctoral degree in Classics with a focus on Greek Literature from the University of Genoa (Italy) and an MBA’s degree from MIB School of Management (Trieste, Italy). She has participated in national and international conferences and has authored articles and book chapters on various research topics such as tourism and sustainability.

    Elisa Innerhofer is Senior Researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies of Eurac Research (Bolzano, Italy). She holds a Ph.D. from the Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt (Germany). She edited several books, including Spiritualität & Tourismus - Schnittstellen und Perspektiven (Athesia, 2016), Destination Resilience - Challenges and Opportunities for Destination Management and Governance (Routledge, 2018), Overtourism – Tourism Management and Solutions (Routledge, 2020) and authored articles on various research topics such as tourism, inter- and transdisciplinarity and entrepreneurship in culture and creative industries.

    Harald Pechlaner is full Professor for Tourism at the Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt (Germany) and Director of the Center for Advanced Studies at Eurac Research (Bolzano, Italy). Furthermore he is Adjunct Research Professor at the School of Marketing, Curtin Business School (Australia). His latest research interests include (digital) transformation and impacts of digitalization on the society. He is author and editor of more than 40 books and approximately 150 articles in books and academic journals, including contributions at the intersection of values, resilience, culture and tourism.

    Michael de Rachewiltz is currently a doctoral student at the Center for Advanced Studies of Eurac Research (Bolzano, Italy). His research interests are in the areas of Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science and Environmental Ethics.