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Malaysian Christians Online: Online/Offline Interactions and Integration

TitleMalaysian Christians Online: Online/Offline Interactions and Integration
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsTan, MY
Book TitleCyberculture Now: Social and Communication Behaviour on the Web
PublisherInter-Disciplinary Press
everyday, helland, malaysia, offline, Online, religion

There has been a vibrant discussion in recent years since Christopher Helland’s novel definitions and differentiation of online-religion/religion-online came to the fore of cyber-religious research. Much of the discussion since then has dealt primarily with certain features of particular religious websites, such as its level of user interactivity. My chapter is an attempt to side-step what a ‘religious’ website is or is not, and to locate specific Christian individuals in Malaysia and their online habits within the larger context of what they consider to be their Christian life - be it online/offline. In short, this chapter explores the ways in which online Christianity, in its varied forms, as practiced by its users, play a part in engaging an individual’s faith. Drawing two case studies from my ethnographic fieldwork, this paper constructs and establishes the multiple contexts and environments that shape some Malaysian Christians’ online expressions of their faith, as well as how their current practice of blogging contributes back to their personal spirituality, contexts, and environments. Rather than dwelling on whether a website allows for physical or practical interactivity, this chapter explores the possibility that the Internet is yet another incorporated extension to the already diverse repertoire of Christian expression of spirituality.

Book Editors

Anna Maj