"Attachment, connectivity, and virtual belief communities."

Title: "Attachment, connectivity, and virtual belief communities."
Format: Chapter
Publication Date: 2013
Published In: The Unconnected: Social Justice, Participation and Engagement in the Information Society
Publisher Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

The near ubiquitous use of information-centric technologies such as the Internet, offer important opportunities to revisit and re-conceptualize the operation of communities, especially those in which modes of communication substitute for geographic proximity. Looking specifically at virtual religious communities the somewhat disappointing outcomes of some efforts to sustain virtual religious communities without an underlying recognized proximate connection seems to suggest that a core concept of community must exist, that the successful functioning of a virtual community results from some extant interconnection, and not the converse. However, building virtual spiritual communities simply because it is possible often results in an empty space, or in the example of Second Life, lifeless avatars, unless there is connection that supports “communion.” Conventional wisdom on virtual spaces for persons of faith communities, at one time assumed that “if you build it they will come,” but it has become apparent this is only the case if people have some reason for going there. This chapter explores the connectivity and community related issues behind faith as a motivating factor for participation in online communities, using the case of Second Life.


Baker, P.M.A. (2013). Attachment, Connectivity, and Virtual Belief Communities. in P.M.A. Baker, J. Hanson, & J. Hunsinger, (Eds.) The Unconnected: Social Justice, Participation and Engagement in the Information Society. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishers.

Related Departments:
  • Center for Advanced Communications Policy