Friday, October 7, 2011
I attended the Digital Religion Symposium and Workshop and listened to Christopher Helland. Helland used his time to talk about ritual and religion online. Helland defines a ritual as a purposeful engagement with the sacred. His argument went on to address the different types of rituals and their forms and functions. Specifically, Helland discussed ritual on the internet and what that looks like. Although some would disagree that rituals with the sacred is not possible online, others would suggest they are. Helland best said it with, "For the believer, rituals are a means by which supernatural beings and powers can be contacted and help humans accomplish what they are unable to without supernatural assistance."Here, the definition of ritual opens many opportunities for the believer and where one could perform such rituals while still being in a sacred setting. Helland went on to discuss such things as online churches and how people argue their legitimacy. The forum continued with what the future of online rituals will look like and challenges that are to come. It was interesting to hear Helland's expertise on this field of study. I now have a better understanding of the influence I have with blogging.