Amparo Huertas, editora d’un número especial sobre religió i xarxes socials a la revista “Religions” (MDPI)

Amparo Huertas, directora de l’InCom-UAB, ha estat convidada com a editora d’un número especial de la revista Religions (MDPI) sobre Religió i Xarxes Socials. Més concretament, sobre la presència del diàleg interreligiós i del discurs d’odi entorn la religió, observant l’activitat digital de creients i no creients.

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Termini: 28 de febrer del 2023

Tota la informació: Enllaç 

Special Issue “Religion in Social Media: Citizenship, Interreligious Dialogue, and Hate Speech”

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Digital Religion Studies, as a field of inquiry, has grown alongside the development of Internet Studies. The constant evolution of Communication Technology has incremented the need of new theoretical and methodological approaches to answer new questions. Hence, religion and media research are now more complex, and an interdisciplinary approach is increasingly needed.

To date, three of the most studied topics are: (a) The presence of religion in online identities; (b) the evolution of online religious practices (the relation between online and offline contexts and how traditional practices are being adapted to digital environments); and (c) the potential to form transnational religious communities taking into account, first, the territorial dichotomies such as Local–Global or North–South and, second, the spread of fundamentalist movements.

The focus of this Special Issue is how activity in social media promotes interreligious dialogue from an insight into the online behaviour of citizens, as individuals and as communities. We are interested to know their digital interactions with other citizens and also with political institutions. We understand social media as spaces of dialogue, and research on online identity, online religious practices, and transnational communities are welcomed if they focus on interreligious dialogue.

Nevertheless, we also know that social media does not seem a good space for negotiation. On one hand, religion (usually linked to minorities, migration, and conflict in intercultural context) is one of the topics that can result in polarisation. Additionally, on the other hand, in the area of political communications, the spread of populism (that usually includes religion) generates epistemic tensions. The path towards the digitalisation of social interaction does not necessarily have a beneficial consequence from the social point of view. In that sense, studies about hate speech related to religion are welcome, especially those which analyse the reaction (in particular online activism expressions and cyberactivism).

Finally, we are interested in research from a gender perspective. Although many of the recent studies are focused on specific problems of Muslim women, the history of women and religion presents multiple issues for whose analysis the gender perspective is necessary (masculine authority or female leadership are two examples). Additionally, nowadays queer theory introduces new concepts and theoretical frames. This is why articles presenting gender perspective are especially welcome. Gender perspective highlights the complexities that appear not only in the construction of interreligious dialogue, but also in the response to the hate speech. 

Some of the questions that this Special Issue will deal with are the following:

  • Online narratives of identity and religion: Is religion present in online identities? Do believers share their experiences and practices? Do they share this content with people who belong to other religious groups? Does it provoke tolerant or intolerant reactions? How does the digital content created and shared by citizens (believers and non-believers) define and promote the interreligious dialogue?
  • The spread of hate speech linked to religion: What we know about online hate speech and religion? Which is the online reaction of the community that has been victim of hate speech?
  • Interreligious dialogue as a goal of online activism and solidarity: Do citizens interact with institutions or social movements that promote interreligious dialogue? Is it possible to talk about online activism (cyberactivism) against hate speech based on religion?
  • Religion and political communication: How does political communication contribute to interreligious dialogue within digital contexts? What is the online reaction of citizens in the face of populist narratives that include religion and promote polarisation?

The Special Issue will be interdisciplinary in scope, bringing together innovative theoretical and methodological work on how social media is contributing to interreligious dialogue by creating tolerant narratives and answering against hate speech that act as an obstacle.