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Call: Uncovering Internet Spiritualities: African Religions, Digitality, and Non-Spatial Communities in the 21ST Century

Panel at the The 5th Annual Lagos Studies Association Conference (Postcolonial African Cities at 60: Continuities and Discontinuities. Lagos 25-27 June 2020) co-organised by Peter Ayoola Oderinde (University of Basel), Wale Oni (University of Salford), and Damilola Adegoke (King’s College London)

Before the advent of the Internet, the conventional definition of a community revolved around physical place and a well-defined territory. The transcendentality of African spiritualities are not new; however, the upsurge of online religious fellowships is a recent phenomenon in the history of African religion. Thus, several churches, Islamic organizations, and practitioners of traditional faith have established online communities with overlapping motivations. This new dimension in information technology affirms that African spiritualities transcends the traditional territorialized forms of communities. The potential for imagined religious communities is enhanced through the creation of stories and templates with which members consistently relate daily through rituals on numerous online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and other novel communication applications.

New questions on the exploration of subjective norms and perceived attributes of Internet technology may shape the adoption of social media for new religiosity. In addition, role-play in the non-spatial environments is a form of embodiment on the Internet, giving rise to the emergence of new religious actors and their involvement in the existential struggle peculiar to religious affairs. This panel welcomes participations on empirically and theoretical sound dimension to online African religious communities in 21st century.

To participate in this panel, please send a 250-word abstract and a short bio to Peter Oderinde (peterayoola.oderinde@unibas.ch), Wale Oni (O.Oni1@edu.salford.ac.uk) Damilola Adegoke (damilola.adegoke@kcl.c.uk) by January 31, 2020. Visit the LSA website for additional information about the Conference: https://lagosstudies.wcu.edu/