The Transformation of the Prayer Wall

Theo Zijderveld

Abstract


My paper provides an analysis of online prayer, a phenomenon that takes place on several websites and online social networks. It aims to understand how online prayer manifests itself as a religious practice in a media age. In order to answer this research question, I will frame online prayer (1) as a ritualized action in a media context, (2) as part of online religious community.

On several websites and online communities, it is possible to post prayers. Thousands of people post their prayers on the evangelical website tangle.com. Others use email groups to send their prayers for intercession. Many prayers are addressed to God, but the fact that others can read and comment on those prayers plays a very significant role. Moreover, it is possible to add images and movies to the prayers. Online prayer shows how new forms of online religious communities are emerging.

In my paper, I will conduct an analysis of prayer websites as part of religion online. This implies that religion online contains a certain media logic. Therefore, I will pay attention to the visual aspects, the technical possibilities and the limitations. I will compare the several forms of online prayer on platforms like tangle.com and Twitter.

Keywords


senses , internet , Christianity , prayer

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/rel.2010.1.9388