Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell
  • In an article for The Conversation, Pauline Hope Cheong addresses concerns about the development of AI generated sermons and worship services. Responding to a 2023 sermon delivered by robots in St. Paul’s Church in Bavaria, Germany, Cheong addresses the ways in which AI technologies still require human intelligence in religious practices.  AI cannot simply displace…

    Continue reading

  • Amidst heighted excitement and concern about the rapid development and increasing availability of AI technology religious scholars are examining its value and limits. As reported by Liz Mineo of the Harvard Gazette: Religious leaders and scholars are starting to wrestle with the ways in which AI may change religion — much as other emerging technologies…

    Continue reading

  • This wide-ranging and accessible book offers a stimulating introduction to the field of media anthropology and the study of religious ritual. Johanna Sumiala explores the interweaving of rituals, communication and community. She uses the tools of anthropological enquiry to examine a variety of media events, including the death of Michael Jackson, a royal wedding and…

    Continue reading

  • What are hybrid media events? And how do these events shape our lives in the present digital age? This book addresses these questions by explaining how terrorist violence makes global events. The empirical analyses are based on the case of Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015 and the global circulation of solidarities and anger connected with…

    Continue reading

  • In response to COVID-19, “Coronasur” (virus as a malevolent force) and “Corona Devi” (goddess of contagion who combats Corona) have emerged, reprising traditional Hindu notions of “good” defeating “evil.” Many Hindus hold the view that virtual sacred spaces must have an analog referent that remains the seat of ritual power. Women in rural villages in…

    Continue reading

  • The Facebook groups discussed in this essay are three of over twenty different groups and pages I follow or have joined as part of my research into Hindu nationalism on social media platforms. While many of the groups I monitor are private, the screenshots of posts included here are from publicly viewable Facebook groups. While…

    Continue reading

  • Digital Religion: The Basics explores how digital media and internet platforms are transforming religious practice in a digital age and the impact this has had on religious culture in contemporary society. Through exploring six defining characteristics of how religion is acted out online, including multisite reality, convergence practice, networked community, storied identity, shifting authority, and…

    Continue reading

  • Much speculation was raised in the 1990s, during the first decade of internet research, about the extent to which online platforms and digital culture might challenge traditional understandings of authority, especially in religious contexts. Digital Creatives and the Rethinking of Religious Authority explores the ways in which religiously-inspired digital media experts and influencers online challenge…

    Continue reading

  • In this article, we present new empirical evidence to demonstrate the severe limitations of existing machine learning content moderation methods to keep pace with, let alone stay ahead of, hateful language online. Building on the collaborative coding project “AI4Dignity” we outline the ambiguities and complexities of annotating problematic text in AI-assisted moderation systems. We diagnose…

    Continue reading

  • How digital networks are positioned within the enduring structures of coloniality The revolutionary aspirations that fueled decolonization circulated on paper—as pamphlets, leaflets, handbills, and brochures. Now—as evidenced by movements from the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter—revolutions, protests, and political dissidence are profoundly shaped by information circulating through digital networks. Digital Unsettling is a critical…

    Continue reading