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How Authentic And Religious Are Virtual Rituals?
Religion and Theology
Pages 4 (1004 words)
The problem with online rituals as Helland states is that a person may decide to develop individual religiosity and deviate from what their traditional religious authority prescribes…
The accessibility of information online has drawn more people to virtual religious places, thus pulling them further away from offline, real-life religion. Connelly attests to this observation when he states that the lack of Buddhist teachers and learning centers, among other factors, has facilitated the growth of an online Buddhist ritual “Second Life”. Helland views a ritual as an individual or communal engagement undertaken for sacred reasons, which allows a person to have contact with the supernatural. A ritual can also be performed as a form of expressing social cohesion and preserving culture. In terms of social cohesion, Connelly states that through Second Life, feel like they belong to a community in which there are expressive involvements. The problem with online rituals as Helland states is that a person may decide to develop individual religiosity and deviate from what their traditional religious authority prescribes. These cyber rituals allow for some form of religious freedom that some strict religions are not comfortable with. According to Helland this raises the question of authenticity and authority of the people carrying out the rituals and the rituals themselves. Judging by this form of evaluation, Second Life would seem legitimate because, as Connelly states, most of the facilitators are ordained priest in real-life, who lead meditation rituals at Buddha centers. ...
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