Virtually Religious

Douglas E. Cowan and Jeffrey K. Hadden

in The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195369649
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Virtually Religious

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  • Alternative Belief Systems



This article begins with a review of the current research into new or controversial religious movements and the Internet. It then explores three aspects of the intersection between these movements and the constantly evolving virtual world: (a) the Internet as a medium for the emergence and evolution of new religions; (b) the Internet as a stage for the virtual practice of online religion; and (c) the Internet as a platform for conflict over religious lineage and authority. It examines the issue of online rituals through case studies of the Temple of Duality and of competing branches of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Keywords: virtual practice; Internet; online rituals; Temple of Duality; conflict

Article.  9392 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Alternative Belief Systems

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