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The Virtual Construction of the Sacred: Representation and Fantasy in the Architecture of Second Life Churches
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab. (Humlab virtual worlds research group)
Durham University, UK .
2014 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, ISSN 0809-7291, Vol. 27, no 1, 59-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to construct a typology of the visual style of Christian spaces in the online vir-tual world of Second Life (SL). Virtual worlds offer diverse new possibilities for architecturalstyle, unrestricted by gravity, weather or scarcity of materials. These new regions also operatelargely beyond the control and indeed awareness of established religious authorities, so they canalso offer users new opportunities to reconsider the social structure of their communities. Thisresearch project aims to survey religious responses to these new potential freedoms. Research todate on religion in SL has focused on small samples of spaces or activity, but we found 114Christian spaces. An overwhelming number of the locations we visited featured a Christianchurch building. 81 of 114 included a church building that reproduced a recognizable offlinearchitectural style, and only 9 included a church with an entirely different style. Only 15 Chris-tian locations had buildings that cannot be characterised as churches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Akademika forlag, 2014. Vol. 27, no 1, 59-73 p.
Keyword [en]
virtual worlds, Second Life, online religion, digital religion, digital humanities
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88868OAI: diva2:717757
Available from: 2014-05-16 Created: 2014-05-16 Last updated: 2015-05-05Bibliographically approved

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