This presentation seeks to help educators better support students’ spiritual development by mapping out the evolving boundaries of the online interfaith landscape, locating online brave spaces for religious exploration, and identifying ways to facilitate interfaith engagement within these digital spaces.
The spiritual marketplace of the internet has allowed more people from more diverse perspectives the opportunity to share their experiences with others. As access to the internet and other mobile technology continues to grow, bringing even more voices to the conversation, these digital spaces have the potential to become fertile environments for connection. But we can only engage these digital platforms and technologies if we understand the “lay of the land.” Despite the potential for conflict with antagonistic (and often anonymous) internet “trolls” digital communities have been established which provide brave spaces for constructive dialogue around issues of interfaith.This presentation will elucidate participants’ understanding of technology by identifying and mapping multifaith and interfaith online spaces. With a more holistic understanding of the religious and spiritual landscape online participants will be able to identify appropriate digital technology for interfaith engagement to share with their students.
We will begin by discussing the challenges and opportunities present in #DigitalFaith spaces for spiritual development. We will then work with participants to map the current religious and spiritual landscape online concerning interfaith engagement. We will provide participants recommendations on how best to guide their students as they traverse the #DigitalFaith landscape online as well as offer tools for facilitating interfaith engagement. We also invite attendees to participate via various social media platforms using the presentation hashtag, #DigitalFaith to create an interactive discussion that can further supplement our session.
At the end of the presentation, attendees will:
- understand the potential of #DigitalFaith platforms and resources to support religious and spiritual development;
- better understand the current religious and spiritual landscape online for interfaith engagement;
- be able to identify online brave spaces where college students can explore issues of interfaith and spirituality; and
- feel more comfortable engaging digital spaces to facilitate, support, and encourage students’ spiritual growth and exploration.