gods of cyberia

gods of cyberia
 

Yet another proposal I just submitted a minute ago in reply to a call-for-papers. The hellish thing with sent-in abstracts is that they sometimes are accepted. And then you indeed have to write up the paper or article you suggested.
 

Nowadays the Internet and its subsidiary, the World Wide Web, constitute conceptual spaces for rich human communication and interaction. The still growing technology-based possibilites for human action mediated online seemingly render this spaces in certain respects evermore similar to the offline world. It can be tentatively stated that seen from the emic vantage point of many users the whole array of online-services at hand together form a kind of environment to be lived in. Especially contested concepts like “cyberspace” hint towards a widely diffused and shared notion of an inhabitable online-world. Every human group or society interpretes its habitat, constructs a cosmology or worldview and thereby grasps the environment’s complexity in cultural terms. More often than not what we call spiritual, mythological, and religious metaphors are used within this process of interpretation. Empirical data gathered online suggests that exactly this happens with cyberspace as well. By means of selected illustrative examples stemming from the author’s own fieldwork and drawing on anthropological concepts the paper argues that sets of religious cultural ideas can be identified which inform not only the contents of communication online, but online practices as well.
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