Thursday, November 3, 2011
A Glance Into Paper 2: Christian Ritual of Baptism
The purpose of this literature review is to examine how Christian communities online perform rituals and what impact this has on the offline local church. The analysis begins by exploring the definition of “ritual,” and continues by studying gathered literary sources that have focused on the relationship between the online and offline church. Through multiple sources involving experts in the field of religious studies, a critical review provides a foundation that will lead into a case study. The case study will be exploring the baptismal ritual and how online churches have performed it over the Internet. Specifically, I will analyze the elements involved in this ritual and raise questions regarding its involvement with the "sacred" online. This study will aid my focus in developing opinions regarding the relational consequences of rituals held online verses rituals held in a traditional church setting. The purpose of the case study will not be to legitimize ritual online, but to highlight ritual elements that are to be negotiated and compensated for, between the two mediums (online church and offline church). This study will not only require analyzing specific examples of online baptism, but will particularly require studying the impacts this has on local church bodies.