Place, Action, and Community in Internet Rituals

Marga Altena, Catrien Notermans and Thomas Widlok

in Ritual, Media, and Conflict

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735235
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895175 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Place, Action, and Community in Internet Rituals

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This chapter explores various Web sites in order to appreciate what the Internet adds to ritual practices, how it changes them, and what conflicts arise when existing rituals are transferred from physical space to cyberspace. The first case examines the function of Australian Aboriginal smoking rituals as ways of belonging and reconciling. The second argues that the Lourdes Web site is not really a substitute for people’s personal, tactile communication with the Marian shrine or fellow pilgrims. The third case illustrates how Weblogs of dying and bereaved people in the Netherlands provide recognition and contribute to the rediscovery, even reinvention, of spirituality.

Keywords: ritual; media; conflict; Australian Aboriginals; smoking rituals; Weblogs; Lourdes; pilgrimage

Chapter.  13620 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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