Considering Trends Towards Networked Religion in Online and Offline Cultures

We had the opportunity to listen to Assoc Prof Heidi Campell (Texas A&M University). Her lecture was based on a article named: Identifying trends of how religion is practiced online highlights shifts in how people live religion offline.

She was talking about “Networked Religion”.

In old days people went to the parish closest to them, geographically. Later on people went to a church where they felt at home. Now people tend to moving around to different churches because everything is built on relations.

Heidi pointed out 5 characteristics for Networked Religion and se was also pointed out tensions and challenges to these characteristics.

1.    Convergent Practice
Today we can se that there is a mix of religious symbols on different kind of websites. People also use a mix of metaphors and creates there own stories.

The tension is how to guide people that get there spiritual guidance from different sources and traditions. The challenge is to make people to stay, and not moving forward to other churches or religions.

2.    Multi-site Reality
Religious spaces on Internet reflects peoples offline values. Some parishes are now building “Network congregations”. These networks can be located in an actual place but they can also be virtual. One church can have approximately 5 000 people attending a service in the church and at the same time 18 000 attending on Internet.

The tension is that offline contexts is no longer the primary source for spiritual knowledge and spiritual communities. The challenge is Integration and Convergence.

3.    Networked Community
People can attend a church, but they also have relations on the Internet. Spiritual networks are today much bigger than a church.

Dublin prepares to welcome ECIC18

A 220v socket in Emmaus

Participants in ECIC18 have been emailed recently with details of the conference. This document  contains many links and hints that  may help to  make your trip more pleasant. An important reminder is to make sure that you bring the correct power supply or adapter with you. Most portable computers have power supplies marked '100-240v', so all you need is an adapter to allow you to use the square 3-pin plugs used in Ireland. Furhter information is  on these pages: Electricity in Ireland and BS 1363 Plugs and Sockets.

Prepare for the Conference: Study the ECIC Constitution

The Board has worked for couple of years to renew the ECIC Constitution. There are many problems with old one and it badly needs updating. The suggestion for the new Constitution was discussed in the Annual Meeting in the Rome Conference and sent back to the Board to continue working on it.  

Both the new and the old Constitution are available here on the webpages   Please read the Constitution before the conference to have an opinion or a question ready.

On the last day of the coming ECIC in Dublin in the Annual Meeting the Constitution will again be discussed. Your ECIC membership fee is included in your conference fee and you will be able to vote and to discuss the Constitution and other current subjects. 

Please register!

Welcome to ECIC to both the web page and conference. To get the best out of both remember also to register for the web page not only for the conference. Your registration for the web page will help the Steering committee when handling the conference registrations.


-- ECIC registration closed --

Notice that the conference registration is open until April 15. Make sure you have a place and register as soon as possible. 

Tradition and innovation: the tensions of a maturing Internet

The eighteenth European Christian Internet Conference (ECIC) took place in Dublin, Ireland, 4 - 7 June 2013. The theme of the conference was Tradition and innovation: the tensions of a maturing Internet. The conference presented an opportunity to consider whether the Internet is, in fact, like ECIC, coming of age and how experiences of being religious and human are enriched or challenged by experience of the virtual.

Colors in chapel

colors in chapel

Among the speakers at the conference was Heidi Campbell, a longtime student both of communication and theology. Associate Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University, Heidi is the author of Exploring Religious Community Online (2005)  and  When Religion Meets New Media (2010). Her presentations and those of the other speakers, the participation of members of the ECIC network and the opportunities that Dublin offers made this an interesting and enriching conference. 

New president elected for ECIC

Mrs Ulrika Wippel is the new elected president of ECIC. She has been local organiser in Sigtuna 2010 and Munich 2011. Annual meeting elected her to the Board in Rome June 14th, 2012 and she was elected as the president of ECIC by the Board. Whole ECIC network congratulates her and wishes her a succesful term.

The network also warmly thanks previous president, Mr Barry Hudd, for his great job for ECIC. He has served ECIC in years 2006-2012 in the Board and as the president 2010-2012.