Recently, the corona pandemic has not only created vast economic and social rifts both across and within societies but has also brought religious communities further into the spotlight. Religious communities are increasingly seen as vital stakeholders – inter alia for providing relief in times of intersecting crises, offering psychosocial support, advocating (or hindering!) adherence to public health measures, contributing to post COVID-19 recovery and offering visions for a sustainable post COVID-19 future. Moreover, since March 2020 the world has seen a rapid increase of digitalization in people’s everyday lives. This extends to and severely impacts on religious communities, religious practices and religious communication both in the global South and North. At the same time, the digitalization processes propelled by the current crisis pose fundamental challenges to religious communities’ social and pastoral work, as in many instances social level religious interaction needs to take place entirely without physical gatherings or with substantially reduced ones.
The interdisciplinary lecture series will scrutinize the religion and sustainable development nexus through the lens of the digital age brought about by the corona pandemic. It is convened jointly with the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. The programme will be uploaded to www.in-rcsd.org before the semester start.
25 Oct 16:00-18:00, Mussa S. Muhoja, Ardhi University, Tanzania: Faith Based Development and Public Sphere in the Digital Era
01 Nov 16:00-18:00, Maria Frahm-Arp, University of Johannesburg, South Africa: Rabboni Church: A Case Study of an Online Church
08 Nov 16:00-18:00, Giulia Evolvi, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands: Digital Religion: Gender, Migration, and Politics
15 Nov 16:00-18:00, Susanna Trotta, Deborah Iannotti and Boris Rähme, Bruno Kessler Foundation, Center for Religious Studies, Italy: Religious or Belief Actors’ Engagements with Artificial Intelligence
22 Nov 16:00-18:00, Nicolas Matthee, Information Technology Service Intelligence (ITSI), South Africa: The Covid 19 Pandemic as Liminal Space for the Crafting of New Rituals
29 Nov 16:00-18:00, Claudia Jetter, EKD Institute for Research on Religious and Ideological Issues (EZW), Germany: Spiritual Influencers – New Forms of Authorization and Community Formation in the Digital Age?
The lecture series will take place via Zoom. If you would like to take part please write an email to Marie-Luise Frost (firstname.lastname@example.org).