Digital Culture and Religion in Asia
Routledge – 2016 – 160 pages
This book examines the connection between new communication technologies and religion in a range of East Asian countries. It discusses both how religious organisations make use of new technologies, and also explores how new technologies are reshaping religion in novel and interesting ways. Based on extensive original research, it focuses in particular on Christianity in South Korea, Neo-Shintoism in Japan, Falun Gong in China and Islam in Southeast Asia. Particular examples of new technology reshaping religion which are explored include: how Korean "mega-churches" create "media environments" and new forms of technological worship practice, which, interestingly, make easier participation by members of the Korean diaspora worldwide; how newer "sects" of Shintoism have used the internet to create on-line shrines; how the Falun Gong has used the internet in its struggles with the Chinese Communist state; and how a segment of Muslims in Southeast Asia are participating in virtual rituals involving oaths of allegiance to sheikhs from a distant land. The book also explores the idea that use of new technology in itself mirrors religious practices, and discusses the impact of religion and new technology on national consciousness in the region.
Introduction 1. Religion, Culture and Technology in a Global Age 2. Digital Christianity in South Korea 3. Digital Neo-Shintoism in Japan 4. The Falun Gong: A Case of Cybersectarianism in Asia 5. New Media Islam in Southeast Asia 6. Hyper-real Religions in Asia 7. Religion for Millenials: The Prospect of Religious Life and Identity in the New Asian Century Conclusion: Multiple Secularities?: Religion and Technology in Asian Modernity
Sam Han is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore
Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore