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Ethnographic Approach to so–called “Sacred” in a Spanish Muslim Digital Environment

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  • Mariblanca AYALA

    () (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Abstract

This paper is part of a larger master research project conducted on the platform provided by Webislam, in order to know how the members/users of the major Spanish Muslim virtual community take advantage of the Internet technologies to develop their religious practices and to deep in their personal relationship with the sacred. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that, even in the institutional frame represented by the Islam, the appropriation of the Internet and its use in the religious practices are enabling the emergence of new ways to get in contact with the sacred. These ways –built over individual contributions and horizontal communications– are transforming the relationship with the sacred in at least two different levels: On the first level, the institutional one, the Internet breaks the traditional hierarchical structure of access to the knowledge of the sacred. On the second level, the interpersonal one, the Internet offers an unprecedented manner to acquire this knowledge. In this sense, the fieldwork in Webislam has allowed to identify two modes of learning available through the Internet: a practical knowledge and a spiritual experience of the sacred. In both cases, the human interactions technologically mediated have been crucial.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariblanca AYALA, 2011. "Ethnographic Approach to so–called “Sacred” in a Spanish Muslim Digital Environment," Revista Romana de Jurnalism si Comunicare - Romanian Journal of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies – Universitatea din Bucuresti, Facultatea de Jurnalism si Stiintele Comunicarii, issue 3, pages 14-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:foj:journl:y:2011:i:3:p:14-24
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    Keywords

    Ethnography; Sacredness; Spanish Islam; Technological Mediation;

    JEL classification:

    • Y8 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines

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