1st Edition

Technologies of Religion Spheres of the Sacred in a Post-secular Modernity

By Sam Han Copyright 2016
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    Bringing together empirical cultural and media studies of religion and critical social theory, Technologies of Religion: Spheres of the sacred in a post-secular modernity investigates powerful entanglement of religion and new media technologies taking place today, taking stock of the repercussions of digital technology and culture on various aspects of religious life and contemporary culture more broadly. Making the argument that religion and new media technologies come together to create "spheres"—environments produced by an architecture of digital technologies of all sorts, from projection screens to social networking sites, the book suggests that prior social scientific conceptions of religious worship, participation, community and membership are being recast. Using the case of the strain of American Christianity called "multi-site," an emergent and growing church-model that has begun to win favor largely among Protestants in the last decade, the book details and examines the way in which this new mode of religiosity bridges the realms of the technological and the physical. Lastly, the book situates and contextualizes these developments within the larger theoretical concerns regarding the place of religion in contemporary capitalism. Technologies of Religion: Spheres of the sacred in a post-secular modernity offers an important contribution to the study of religion, media, technology and culture in a post-secular world.

    1. Technologies of Religion: An introduction  2. Disenchantment Revisited: Formations of the "secular" and "religious" in the technological discourse of modernity  3. From Cosmos to Sphere "Worlds" across religion and technology  4. (Atmo)sphere: The liturgical aesthetics of deterritorialized worship spaces 5. The Digital Milieu: The socialization of religions experience in church online  6. Is the Return of Religion the Return of Metaphysics? Or, the Renewed Spirit of Capitalism?  7. Conclusion


    Sam Han is a Seoul-born, New York City-raised interdisciplinary social scientist, working in the areas of social and cultural theory, religion, new media and globalization. He is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Hawke Research Institute of the University of South Australia. He is author (with Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir) of Digital Culture and Religion in Asia (Routledge, 2015), Web 2.0 (Routledge, 2011), Navigating Technomedia: Caught in the Web (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007) and editor (with Daniel Chaffee) of The Race of Time: A Charles Lemert Reader (Paradigm Publishers, 2009).

    'Fighting against the modern desire to neatly compartmentalize conceptual schema such as religion, media, and culture into a hermeneutical vacuum, Han instead follows the lead of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in creating concepts that not only "work through" preceding scholarly analytics but also make sense of the events at hand... Han's is a work that is theoretically exciting, critically sharp, and discursively rich. In combining a robust theoretical analysis of contemporary thinkers while keeping an empirical eye toward praxis, Han weaves together a book that ought to be essential reading in what is now a burgeoning discourse on the relationship between religion and technology.'

    Jeff Appel, Ph.D. Student, Department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver, Reading Religion.