I ‘like’ my Patriarch. Religion on Facebook. New Forms of Religiosity in Contemporary Georgia

Sophie Zviadadze

Abstract


Rising of religiousness is a significant characteristic of Georgian society in post-communistic period. Revitalization of religion is vivid as on individual (increased amount of religious people) as well as on institutional (increased role and authority of the Church) level.

Increased religiosity is manifested not only in a traditional form of piety (church attendness, observance of rituals), but also in expression if religion in new media (preaches of clerics on youtube, church bell as ringtones in mobile phone, picture of church as desktop photos). How is religion transferred on facebook? Is facebook a kind of space of public religiosity in contemporary Georgia?

According to recent studies facebook is Georgia's most popular Internet platform. Facebook is a space, where people most widely and frequently discuss religious issues, whether it is orthodox religious opinions or critical understanding of religion. Most frequently users of facebook are young people. The paper seeks to understand how religion is present on facebook and how young people affiliate with religious issues. The paper deals with the question if “religious face” on facebook correlates with religious identity in life. Therefore the aim of proposed paper is to explore new tendencies of religiosity of young people, what kind of influence does religion have on facebook in construction of identity.

Generally, the paper will try to explore the new forms of religiousness (for example asking forgiveness publicly on facebook on “day of forgiveness”) - is it performance of traditional religion through new medium or are we dealing with profanation of religion?

Keywords


Religion in Georgia, secularization, popular religion, religion on facebook, identity of young people

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/rel.2014.0.17365

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-rel-173652