Beznjuk D.K., Tsybulskaya N.V. Religious Practices Online: Belarus Experience

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2019.2.4

Dmitry K. Beznjuk
Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), Professor, Leading Researcher, Sociology of Culture Department, Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Surganova St., 1/2, 220072 Minsk, Republic of Belarus
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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3546-3748

Natalya V. Tsybulskaya
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Head of the Sociology of Culture Department, Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Surganova St.,1/2, 220072 Minsk, Republic of Belarus
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https:// orcid.org/0000-0003-4521-0653

 


Abstract. The authors deal with the problems of transformation of religion in the information society, in particular, the modification of religious practices updated on the Internet. Digitalization appears in modern society and culture not only as a technical and technological phenomenon, but also as a socio-cultural challenge, which is to be answered by the religious sphere. Under the influence of the global process of digitalization religion, as one of the forms of public consciousness, finds and implements innovative ways of practice. In the structure of these practices, as the authors show in the article, the information and communication element is the most suitable for digitalization. The article reveals the content of the concept of "religious practices" as a continuation of the evolutionary chain of development and transformation of meanings originating in social philosophy: social action – social communication – social practices. The researchers consider the essence of the main provisions of the theory of practices by Theodore Shatsky. The paper reveals the essence of religious practices, describes their features, presents typologies of religious practices on various grounds. The division of social practices into conventional and innovative (according to V. Radaev) as a variant of assessing the prospects and orientation of digitalization in the religious sphere is approved. The phenomenon of digitalization of religious practices is associated with new opportunities to meet the religious needs of the believer. The authors give some examples of digitization of religious practices in foreign religious communities, which demonstrate the capabilities and technological features of this process, reveal its content and likely social consequences. The paper describes the main characteristics of the religious field of modern Belarus, in order to understand the conditions of digitization of religious practices and the presentation of the national and historical specifics of Belarus. The researchers give a brief overview of the representation of religious organizations in Minsk on the Internet (due to the greatest representativeness of religious diversity). They suggest the results of the analysis of the sites of religious communities in Minsk, which make it possible to assess the degree and results of digitization of the religious sphere of Belarus, the readiness of religious organizations to operate in the digital space, the scale of consumption of digital religious products.

Key words: religion, practice, digitalization, behavior, action, confessions, website, Internet.

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Religious Practices Online: Belarus Experience by Beznjuk D.K., Tsybulskaya N.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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