Members Online: 327

Gregory Price Grieve - Imagining a Virtual Religious Community Neo Pagans on the Internet (879.0 Kb)

Cover of Gregory Price Grieve's Book Imagining a Virtual Religious Community Neo Pagans on the InternetBook downloads: 23
To get magic book to you mailbox every week please subscribe to my mailing list, using form below
Name:
Email:
Anyone who has spent time exploring the Internet cannot help but notice the prevalence of Neo-Paganism. This paper answers the seeming paradox of why neo-Paganism, a self-proclaimed nature religion, pervades cyberspace. What defines the social space opened up by the Internet is lack of 'presence,' the face-to-face interaction of oral communication which is generally consid-ered necessary for the formation of authentic communities, reli-gious or otherwise (c.f. Benjamin 1968: 217-251 Eliade 1954: 141-147 Eliade 1957: ... More >>>
Book can be downloaded, and can be ordered on CD.
Note that, unfortunately, not all my books can be downloaded or ordered on CD due to the restrictions of copyright. However, most of the books on this site do not have copyright restrictions. If you find any copyright violation, please contact me at christina.debes@gmail.com. I am very attentive to the issue of copyright and try to avoid any violations, but on the other hand to help all fans of magic to get access to information.
Editors Rating Gregory Price Grieve's Books List
Community Rating
Download All Books
Category 1:  Pagans and Paganism
Category 2: 
Category 3: 
Author:      Gregory Price Grieve
Format:      eBook
Anyone who has spent time exploring the Internet cannot help but notice the prevalence of Neo-Paganism. This paper answers the seeming paradox of why neo-Paganism, a self-proclaimed nature religion, pervades cyberspace. What defines the social space opened up by the Internet is lack of 'presence,' the face-to-face interaction of oral communication which is generally consid-ered necessary for the formation of authentic communities, reli-gious or otherwise (c.f. Benjamin 1968: 217-251 Eliade 1954: 141-147 Eliade 1957: 111-113, 141-147, 164 Eliade 1978: 162 Levi-Strauss 1970: 286-298 Levinas 1985: 85-92 Ong 1967). Yet, in Benedict Anderson's terms, other media besides speech enable human beings to imagine communities which transgress the hori-zons of face-to-face interaction -- "all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even those) are imagined" (1983: 15). What is unique about neo-Pagan practitioners is that they are able to imagine a religious community which is not dependent on presence. Instead of presence their Internet communities are sustained by the notion of a religious 'energy' which is created and circulated by 'personal rituals.' It is their shared 'feeling of energy' which binds them together in cyberspace, and enables them to imagine a virtual religious community.

Methodologically, my research on the Internet religious groups and neo-Paganism was collected as a 'virtual ethnographer.' I observed four religious Usenet newsgroups -- alt.pagan, soc.religion.bahai, soc.religion.christian and soc.religion.eastern -- on the Internet between October 1, 1993 and April 1, 1994. I concentrated on 'alt.pagan,' which exists "for the discussion of paganism and Witchcraft in their various forms and traditions for sharing ideas and ritual and completed liturgy" and "for sharing within a larger community than one might find at home." (FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions document)1 Beyond observing reli-gious newsgroups on the Internet, I also compared the ethno-graphic data from alt.pagan with interactions I had with neo- Pagans at the 1993 World Parliament of Religions, especially with members of Circle -- a 'Shamanic Wiccan Church' headquartered near Madison, Wisconsin and Covenant of The Goddess -- a Wiccan Coven headquartered in Berkeley, California.