Webinar "Religious Practices in Digital Platforms"

Photo Unsplash user Noah Holm

Ethics of Religious Practices in Emerging Digital Platforms

Date & time: Thursday 7 March, 2024 @17h00 UTC / 17h00 London / 18h00 Paris / 20h00 Nairobi / 22h30 Kolkata

Sponsored by: IAMCR Religion and Communication Working Group (REC)

Pre-registration is required by 5 March. Register here.


Social media has been an extension of everyday human life. Individual and community practices have been extended in digitized cyber societies. Religion has been a vehicle of communication at every form and stage of media in human society. It has reflected, expressed and extended its practices in a variety of forms like print, television, audio and internet platforms. 

The internet presents both an opportunity and a necessity for individuals to establish their online presence. Religious institutions have seized this opportunity by creating websites, dedicated television channels, social media pages, and immersive content such as virtual tours to engage with their audience.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in religious practices, leading to the widespread use of virtual prayers and online services. Even as normalcy is restored post-COVID, the trend persists, indicating a lasting transformation in how people engage with their faith. Virtual religious activities offer increased accessibility and inclusivity, allowing a global community to participate in communal practices. This enduring shift highlights the convenience and sense of connection fostered by digital platforms, marking a profound and lasting change in the landscape of religious expression.

The webinar aims to delve into the dynamic interplay between physical and digital realms within the context of religious practices and media. It addresses the tensions, synergies, and transformations that emerge as traditional religious practices encounter the digital landscape.

On the other hand, it also addresses the rising concerns of hate speech, trolls, memes, fake news, deep fakes, misinformation, and disinformation with respect to religious content on social media platforms.

See the list of speakers and presentations

Location: The meeting will take place on Zoom. Pre-registered participants will receive personal invitations 24 hours before the webinar begins. Pre-registration is required by 5 March. Register here.

Who can participate: The webinar is open to all IAMCR members but space is restricted. A limited number of guest invitations for non-members may be available. Fill out this form to request being added to the guest list.

Not sure if you're a member? Check the membership directory.

If you are not a member of IAMCR, you can join here.

Speakers and presentations

The webinar will comprise two sessions, each followed by a moderated Q&A session by the Chairs.

Greetings by REC Working Group Vice-Chair, Professor Kusuma Krishna Sankar

Session 1

Chair: Dr Lana Kazkaz, Blanquerna Observatory of Media, Religion & Culture, Ramon Llul University, Barcelona, Spain.

  1. Prof.Yoel Cohen , Ariel University – Jewish media ethics and the Digital era
  2. Dr. Happy Jeji, Punjabi University, India-Understanding Human Dignity in Religious and Digital Sociology Frameworks
  3. Joseph Muyangata, lecturer of Theology at the Light of the World Bidble School and the Christian Education Director for Full Gospel Tabernacle International in the Bronx, USA- Christian Digital Media Influencers: The Impact of The New Digital Technologies On The Religious Landscape.

Q&A by Chair/Moderator

Session 2

Chair: Joseph Muyangata

  1. Dr.Gabriel Faimau, University of Botswana - Religion and ethical boundaries of digitization and digitalization practices in Africa
  2. Dr.Shamala.R, Assistant Professor, Central University of Tamil Nadu - India-Digital Products and Brands stemming from religious practices: Zooming into virtual Soft Power and Popular Culture
  3. Dr. Krishna Sankar Kusuma, Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia Central University, India - Religion and memes on digital platforms: A Discourse analysis of Christian Pastors in India

Q & A by Chair/Moderator

Closing remarks and vote of thanks: Prof. Yoel Cohen