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Going on Pilgrimage Online : the Representation of Shia Rituals on the Internet

TitleGoing on Pilgrimage Online : the Representation of Shia Rituals on the Internet
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsKalinock, S
JournalOnline – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet
IssueSpecial Issue on Rituals on the Internet
Start Page6
Keywordsanalyzing rituals, communication within the Internet, media and religion, New Technology and Society, Online community, Pilgrimage Online, Practicing Faith in Cyberspace, religion, religious practice, Shia

In her article Going on Pilgrimage Online. The Representation of Shia Rituals on the Internet, Sabine Kalinock gives an overview of the representation of Shia ritual in the Internet and discusses the relation between innovations and traditional discourses. Emphasis is laid on the possibilities that the Internet offers and which are especially important in the Muslim and Iranian context: the mixing of the sexes, exchange with believers in other parts of the world and the free expression of critical ideas. Kalinock thereby concentrates on case studies from Iranian religious websites set up by various Shiite communities, official institutions as well as private persons. These Websites are usually presented in at least three languages: Arab, Persian, and English, and deal with religious regulations and rituals, hagiographies and recent miracle stories that are recorded with modern technology and confirmed by physicians. Pictures, video films and audio records supplement the texts. Via email believers can seek the guidance of a leading clergyman of their choice (marja at-taqlid) while various books and online resources provide further advice. In chat rooms men and women discuss, affirm or question the meaning and validity of certain religious rules and rituals.