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With reference to two religions discussed in the From Sacred Text to Internet(TM) explore the ways in which technological innovations have affected representations of religion.

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Introduction

Question 2 With reference to two religions discussed in the 'From Sacred Text to Internet' explore the ways in which technological innovations have affected representations of religion. Introduction A question this complex can easily be misinterpreted, hence this discussion has been broken down into several distinctive areas. Initially definitions of what representation and presentation are as well as a comparison between the two terminology's will be made. The next part will focus on new technological innovations available and the effects that these have had on the representation of the religions such as Christianity and Hinduism. Finally a discussion on the traditional representation and 'new' emerging religions will be entered and how these have led to changes in religious beliefs through both the differences and uniformity of distinctive religions. Representation Representation is a multifaceted awareness that requires an appreciation of core beliefs associated with a religion. How religions are represented is dependent on the means for communication used to relay their beliefs and how those involved with passing the beliefs on, give consideration to the personal perspectives of the audience. There are fundamental differences between the many religions and how individuals and society understand and comprehend what 'message' they have been exposed to. Some religions believe that there is one ultimate supreme entity which countless people may call 'God' and whom, it is believed, chooses to have limited interaction with humanity and only converses with the selected messengers. ...read more.

Middle

80 per cent were Christian' (Zaleski, 1997, p.99). Although research shows the contrary, Americans state that Christianity is not on the wane, however the rest of the world, apart from Ireland and Poland, has shown a fall in the popularity of Christianity.(this is far too general a statement - Christianity is evolving worldwide but in areas such as Africa it is the fastest growing religion, and even in the areas you identify certain forms are growing rapidly). Visual broadcasting does still have a large influence on the global population derived ultimately from fictional television, usually ' from this we register at various levels of our minds the status of police, cabinet minister..; we learn to judge the relative measures of respect we offer to soldiers, priests...'(Smith, 1994:4). As was highlighted in the release of the film 'Passion of the Christ'(Gibson, film 2003) when many of the Christian churches in both America and England offered the general public free cinema tickets to view this film, in the hope to promote their religion. In an attempt to re-promote Christianity film producer Martin Scorsese produced the film 'The Gospel according to St Matthew' in the hope 'to make the life of Jesus immediate and accessible to people who haven't really thought about God for a long time' (Thompson and Christie 1989:124). But programs/films are only accessible to those who have the facilities to access these broadcasts. An increased availability of Christian programs on terrestrial television and dedicated channels on satellite/cable television and the Internet have assisted people to worship in their own homes rather than attend church services. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Internet is almost entirely free from effective regulations and this has enabled any religious group to pursue any agenda without impediment. Notably a ' person who enters cyberspace, the cybernaut, takes on a virtual self, often with a different name for the purposes of logging on to the computer or using e-mail - a 'cyberidentity' whose relationship to the person's real identity is again intriguing, especially if the anonymity and freedom of the Internet allows a different character to emerge' (Beaudion, 1998, p.134). This highlights the caution that must be taken when using the Internet. There are many reasons as to why the Internet will continue to be used to promote religious messages in the future, due to people having limited time, energy and ability to travel. It has also assisted worshippers to preserve their private space. As well as anonymity, global communication and cheap advertisements it has been suggested that some 'people may be ashamed to admit they belong to a private prayer group....It seems easier for people to establish that sense of trust on-line' (Busch, 1999, p.24). To end with a quote 'because religion is so embedded in social life' (Lundby and Hoover, 1997, p.308) it will continue to change and adapt as evidence shows that it has in the past. It will continue to modify and develop to strengthen the community that it supports and will make continued contributions to promote the further privatisation of religion that has also been a characteristic of this modern period. ...read more.

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