Digitalization and Religious Contact

Digitalization and Religious Contact

  November 14th – November 15th 2019

  Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Center for Religious Studies (CERES), Universitätsstr. 90a, 44789 Bochum

  Center for Religious Studies (CERES)

» Call for Participation – Digitalization and Religious Contact

» Program

Please register: Dr. Giulia Evolvi (CERES), Dr. Nina Hahne

Digitalization and Religious Contact

The workshop will take place on 14-15 November 2019 at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr University Bochum. The first day will be dedicated to presentations from international and national scholars followed by responses. The second day will host a round table that will bring together senior researchers and early career scholars. Young researchers are invited to participate in the round table, where they can present and discuss their current research.

Image: Dr. Giulia Evolvi

Religion in contemporary Europe is undergoing dynamic and compelling changes: for example, migrations are changing the religious landscape, creating the need for minorities to enter in public debates; discrimination and racism compel scholars to reflect on the role of media and free speech; the risk of radicalization of certain minorities is an urgent social and political issue. These changes often regard contacts between religious groups, involving minorities that have to confront mainstream religiosity and different religious traditions that coexist in the same environment.

Digitalization has a central impact on these religious changes. As digital media became increasingly pervasive in the European public sphere, interpersonal relations and cultural actions are inevitably conditioned by the presence of the Internet. Religious groups address each other and frame their identities through digital spaces, which are often intertwined with physical spaces.

However, scholars still need to find compelling methods and theories to address the ethical and social consequences of digitalization on religious groups and religious contact. While, in certain circumstances, existing methods and theories in media and religious studies can prove useful, there are some questions to be explored: How can scholars collect data about digital religion and analyze them? Which framework can better capture the role of the Internet in relation to religious contact? What kind of impact does digitalization have on religion, and how can it be analyzed?

Image: Dr. Giulia Evolvi


Thursday14th November 2019


09:30 – 09:40 am
// Welcome Address & Presentation of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg 
Tim Karis (Bochum)
09:40 – 09:50 am
// Presentation of the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS))
Michael Baurmann (Bochum)
09:50 – 10:00 am
// Presentation of Entangled Religions
Maren Freudenberg (Bochum)
10:00 – 10:15 am
// Introduction to the Workshop 
Giulia Evolvi & Nina Hahne (Bochum)

Session 1Chair: Michael Baurmann (Bochum)

10:15 – 11:15 am
// Digital Religion in the Era of Hybrid Media Environment – Mapping Theoretical and Methodological Challenges for
Current Research
Johanna Suminala (Helsiniki)
Maren Freudenberg (Bochum)


11:15 – 11:30 am
// Coffee Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
// Analysing Religious Discourse Online: Theories, Methods, and Challenges
Stephen Pihlaja (Birmingham)
Frederik Elwert (Bochum)


12:30 – 02:00 pm
// Lunch 

Session 2Chair: Margherita Mantovani (Bochum/Rome)

02:00 – 03:00 pm
// Capital and Religious Networks in the Age of Digitalization
Mehmet Karacuka (Izmir/Bochum)
Mouli Banerjee (Duisburg)


03:00 – 04:00 pm
// „Kill Jesus!“: Imagining the Other in Christian Videogames
Tim Hutchings (Nottingham)
Anna Neumaier (Bochum)


04:00 – 04:30 pm
// Coffee Break
04:30 – 05:30 pm
// The Politics of Affect & Online Contestations of Religious & Cultural Identities
Mona Abdel-Fadil (Oslo)
Abeer Saady (Dortmund)


06:00 pm
// Dinner

Friday15th November 2019

Session 3Chair: Eduard Iricinschi (Bochum)

10:00 – 11:00 am
// Religious Authority Online: Pope Francis‘ Instagram Account and Jewish Ask-The-Rabbi Sites
Oren Golan (Haifa)
Victor Khroul (Bochum/Moscow)


11:00 – 11:30 am
// Coffee Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
// Of Modes and Materialities: A Media Anthropological Approach to Religious Change and Forced Migration
Susanne Stadlbauer (Bochum/Boulder)
Samira Tabti (Bochum)


12:30 – 01:45 pm
// Lunch 

Round Tables

01:45 – 02:00 pm
// Introduction
Giulia Evolvi & Nina Hahne (Bochum)
02:00 – 03:00 pm
// Round Table I
Moderator: Nina Hahne (Bochum)
Social Media and the Religious Subjectivities of Minority
Groups: A Case Study of Muslim and Druze Young Adults
in Israel
Sawsan Kheir (Turku/Haifa)
Fighting Polarization Online? The Rise of ‚Muslim‘ Political
Parties in the Netherlands and the Role
03:00 – 03:30 pm
// Coffee Break
03:30 – 06:00 pm
// Round Table II
Problems and Challenges in Presenting Religious Heritage:
The Case of Athos Digital Heritage Project
Lamprous Alexopoulos (Athens)
New Producers of Patriarchal Ideology: matushki in Digital
Media of the Russian Orthodox Church
Nadia D. Zasanska (Lviv)
Religion Contested in Hypermediated Spaces: A Dimensional
Approach to Hashtag-based Hijab Controversies in Iran
Rasool Akbari (Mashhad)
06:00 – 06:30 pm
// Concluding Remarks