Language, Religion, and the Digital World

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


This chapter focuses on how digital communication has impacted on the development of religious language and communities over the previous 30 years, tracing the development from the early use of the world wide web, through social media, and into Web3. Focusing on how religious groups have used the internet to present their own beliefs and interact with those who hold different beliefs and no belief, the chapter will show how technology continues to impact how religious belief changes over time and how people come to hold beliefs and form communities around those beliefs. The chapter will then explore the development of Web 2.0 interaction over 15 years using YouTube as a case study. The chapter will show how the changes in rules, moderation, and other affordances on the site contributed directly to the relationship between religious and political identities in the Trump Era and how responses to political extremism related directly to further divisions in how people of faith and faith groups presented themselves. The chapter will then suggest ways forward for analysis of religious belief and positioning in networked and digitised interaction, particularly as they relate to blockchain technologies, NFTs, and the commodification of manufactured scarcity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Language and Religion
EditorsStephen Pihlaja, Helen Ringrow
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003819417
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2023


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