Churching Online: A Study on Religious Authority and Tourism in a Digital Age
Keywords:Online Religion, Digital Authority, Digital Tourism, Corporatisation of Church, Monitoring, Religious Identity
Christian churches in India with their growing access to digital technology have brought along promises to im-prove the interface between religion and society. This study looks at the Assemblies of God Fellowship (AGF), a popular youth church in Ahmedabad, Gujarat which has utilised the digital space to create an experience of engaging with the spiritual. This study contributes to-wards an ethnographically researched narrative of the church and its role in the domain of digital tourism, the manner in which religious authority negotiates the influx of the Internet. The research focusses on ways in which online communications shape religious meanings, identi-ties, expressions of religiosity, and contemporary notions of tourism. AGF‘s inclusion of the online in its day-to-day faith practices along with its establishment of new units such as the ‗media team‘ has led to the emergence of a media-savvy leadership.
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