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Spiritual Identity in Cyberspace

theozijderveld.com : Home Cyberpilgrims : Index Download Full Paper Version (PDF) Introduction The Pilgrim Spirituality in a technological mediated environment Media, Religion, Culture and Spirituality Under Construction: Cyberspace and the Construction of Identity Spiritual Identification in Virtual Worlds Conclusion

NEW! World of Warcraft and Religion

Since the publication of the article in the Colorado Daily on World of Warcraft and religion, many websites have posted a topic on this issue. The cyberpilgrims project was my Master's Thesis. To find the new research on World of Warcraft and Religion, click here!

Cyberpilgrims

Second Life. A new source for spirituality?

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Cyberpilgrims can construct their framework in using multiple windows. They can gaze through multiple windows into multiple spiritualities and identities, and switch from one to another with just a click of the mouse.

A spiritual journey not only takes place on the road to Santiago de Compostela; one of the sources for spirituality and identity is cyberspace. The greatest example of cyberspace is the Internet, a worldwide information network. Other examples are virtual worlds like the immensely popular computer game World of Warcraft or the simulation Second Life.

Cyberspace is the fast-growing medium where technological, social-economic, cultural and religious developments occur and are communicated.
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The Pilgrim

Who is the pilgrim? The quest for spirituality and identity can be illustrated by the metaphor of the pilgrim. Pilgrimage, to Taizé, the World Youth Days, to Lourdes or even the grave of Elvis Presley is a phenomenon that has existed for centuries.
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Spirituality in a technological mediated environment

Spirituality is often connected to nature, especially in New Age thinking. The technological developments have, according to Max Weber, led to a disenchanted world. There seems to be no place for the supernatural in a highly technologically controlled world. Cyberspace is a product of highly complex computer technology. Therefore, we need to get a grasp of the essence of technology. What framework can technology offer?
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Media, Religion, Culture and Spirituality

How do the media reflect our experiences and reflections? Media do stand between ourselves and the world around us. The generation of seekers and pilgrims grows up with magazines, television, mobile phones and the Internet. They offer information, entertainment and a social network.
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Under Construction: Cyberspace and the Construction of Identity

Media provide recourses, context and practices to our identity. Internet communities can provide a virtual moratorium, providing recourses for important transitions. Moreover, it provides a stage where individuals can present themselves, interact, and form their opinions and identities. It encourages presenting a self that is always under construction.
Under Construction

Spiritual Identification in Virtual Worlds

Every day, millions of people spend their days in magic worlds exploring undiscovered places, fighting monsters, creating covenants, buying property, chatting, performing magic rituals´┐Ż Is this fantasy? No, this is virtual reality. What could be the motivations to live in a virtual fantasy world?
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Conclusion

The radical newness of cyberspace lies in its ability to make time and space relative. The network of computers all over the world is always present, is attainable seemingly everywhere and offers a new mediation to experience. When we conduct a spiritual quest as we search for a framework to live with, cyberspace offers endless possibilities for searching, finding, and searching further.
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