Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet

About the Journal

online was an international open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Institute of Religious Studies at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). The journal was discontinued in 2020.

online was committed to promoting and (theoretically and methodically) advancing scientific research at the interface between religion and the internet.

online welcomed submissions from all academic disciplines and perspectives (e.g. Religious Studies, Social Studies, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Theology, Anthropology, etc.) focussing on general and specific issues of religions and new digital media.

online expected authors to present their research in terms of relevant theoretical and / or methodological discussions and to be of interest to a wide, but mainly academic audience in a manner intelligible not only to specialists.

online explicitely encouraged authors to also write and submit reviews of new and important books that deal with topics relevant for the journal’s scopes.


Vol. 14 (2019) is out - Special Issue on the Dynamics of Religion, Media, and Community

In this new edition of Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet, the guest editors, Andrea Rota and Oliver Krüger, invite us to reflect on the dynamic relationships between religion, media, and community. The special issue returns to a fundamental question of social theory concerning the constitution of human bonds in religious contexts but extends the investigation beyond the analysis of face-to-face interaction to discuss the various roles played by media and mediated communication.
The contributions in this special issue tackle the dynamics of religion, media, and community from different angles. The articles by Isabelle Jonveaux, Fabian Huber, Tim Hutchings, Andrea Rota, and Alessandra Vitullo, take their departure from the study of traditional religious communities to explore how the production, use, and interpretation of various (new) media affect such communities. Anna Neumaier and co-authors Mirjam Aeschbach and Dorothea Lüddeckens, on the other hand, focus on how forms of religious communalization emerge through the use of digital media such as Internet forums and Twitter. A systematic overview of the research field is sketched in the introduction by the guest editors.

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Vol. 13 (2018) is out!

We are pleased to announce that issue 13 (2018) of "Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet" has been officially released. 

Despite the somewhat "ominous" issue number we are convinced, that you will find the included articles most interesting and we are very thankful to our authors for their patience, diligence and hard work!

Inside, you will find insightful contributions on the topics of religion on the internet (by Maria Sharapan and Franz Winter), religion and gaming (By Benjamin Jozef Banasik, Heidi Rautalahti and Michaela Šimonová) and religion and virtual reality (by Stefan Piasecki).

The editors of Online wish you an enjoyable read and relaxing holidays.

See you next year!


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Brand new: Religion to Go! - Religion in Mobile InternetEnvironments, Mobile Apps, Augmented Realities and the In-Betweens


We`ve set off to explore the field of religion within mobile internet environments, mobile application, augmented realities and everything in between – and the retroactive effects of the new mobility on our notion of religion and religious practice. - And present you a variety of aspects and topics, starting with "Judaism to go" by Christiane Altmann, "Pókemon Go - How Religious Can an Augmented Reality Hunt Be?" by Sonja Gabriel, "Learning with tablets in a Church" by Mari Huotari and Essi Ikonen, "Mobile Liturgy" by Joshua L. Man, RELab digital - A Project on Religious Education in a Mediatized World" by Ilona Nord and Jens Palkowitsch-Kühl and finally "Pope Francis in Cairo" by Theo Zijderveld. Enjoy!




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Tadaaa! Vol. 11 (2016) is out!


After tackling a nearly grotesque heap of technical mishaps, we have finally managed to compile our brand new edition of Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet.

The articles again cover a wide range of subjects and themes, starting with a case study of conflicts on Facebooks (Mona Abdel-Fadil), general considerations on researching religion in digital games (Frank G. Bosman), the importance of Web 2.0 for female jihadists (Claudia Carvalho), the use of Facebook in the context of a prophetic church in Botswana (Gabriel Faimau & Camden Behrens), a best-practice study of the augmented reality app "Aurasma" for religious education (Polykarpos Karamouzis & Michalis Keffalas), the use of religious terms on Wikipedia (Emad Mohamed), religious attitudes of travel bloggers (Tom van Nuenen & Suzanne van der Beek), religion as factor in age rating video games in Iran (Stefan Piasecki & Setareh Malekpour), Catholic online communication (Moisés Sbardelotto) and Catholic confessional apps (Sasha A.Q. Scott).

To all our readers: Enjoy! And have a Happy New Year 2017!

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Religion in Digital Games RESPAWNED


With pride we announce our new special issue of online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet 10 (2016) on religion in digital games.

As the "gamers" among our readers will be very well aware of, "respawn" is a constant occurence in most videogames. However, while in-game it usually is rather annoying (especially when mobs respawn while the player is still out cold) we - the editors of the "games" issues - very much welcome each and every "respawn" in the form of new articles from the exciting field of religions in digital games.

And so - again - without announcing it or circulating a call for papers we are able to provide another special edition, thanks to a lively "respawn" of great papers by highly innovative authors!

So please enjoy online's "respawn"! And send us your papers (on this and any other research on religion on the internet)! We do like "respawn" of this sort very much ...

Vol 10 (2016): Religion in Digital Games Respawned

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Vol. 09 (2015) is online!


The new edition of Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet features a multitude of articles, ranging from the crowdfunding of a new church, shari'a in cyberspace, the pope on Twitter, the internet site of Ahmadiyya in Germany, online authority of the minority of the Kyais in Indonesia and attitutes towards women's participation in public prayer in Judaism and Islam as well as a book review of Cybertheolgy: Thinking Christianity in The Era of the Internet (Antonio Spadaro, 2014).

Enjoy! We are looking forward to each and any kind of feedback by our readers!

Moreover, we have again received many great papers on religion and digital games, which will (again!) be published in a separate issue in February 2016. - And we will soon host another special "games" issue. This time with a "proper" call for papers. Promise!

Vol 9 (2015)

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Special Issue 08 (2015): Le religieux sur Internet / Religion on the Web


The new edition of Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet is a conference issue, covering the proceedings of the annual conference of the French Association for the Social Sciences of Religion (Association Française de Sciences sociales des Religions) held in February 2013.

The guest-editors of this issue Fabienne Duteil-Ogata, Isabelle Jonveaux, Lilane Kuczynski and Sophie Nizard, who were also in charge of the conference, present an interesting cross section of studies on religion in digital contexts done in France and French spoken countries.

If you always wanted to explore the state of digital religion research in France without reading French – here you go!




Volume 7 (2015): Religion in Digital Games Reloaded. Immersion into the Field


The research of religion(s) in digital games is still brand new. Therefore, all researchers immersing themselves into this fascinating field are pioneers of sorts. Luckily, more and more research is being done, works are being published, conferences are being held, and journals are being launched, altogether slowly but surely adding to the consolidation of the research field in the contexts of serious academia. Therefore, we are very proud to present the second special issue of online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet on the topic of “Religion in Digital Games Reloaded. Immersion into the Field”.

To be honest – we weren’t planning this issue nor was there any particular Call for Papers! But thanks to so many academics who sent in their high-quality papers dealing with the topic of digital games and gaming, the idea for a sequel was born. And here it is!

While the first special issue (which was launched nearly exactly one year ago) was dedicated to reveal the huge range of possible methodical and theoretical approaches to the field (not all of which are necessarily compatible with the basic self-conception of cultural studies as academic discipline), the current issue’s focus is on the interconnectivities and interplays of game-immanent content with actor-centered receptions and responses – the implications and consequences of which are being discussed in the papers which are included in this edition.


Vol 7 (2015)

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Vol 6 (2014) is out!


What is the connection between digital media religiosity, Online jihad on Facebook, Virtual Christianity, religious topics in fan fiction, Kopimism, trans-European adaptions on Neo-Orthodox Tibetan Buddhism, Jainism online, Muslim Women on YouTube and online religion in contemporary Georgia? - It's all subject to the new edition of online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet!

We proudly present the regular issue 6 (2914) of our journal featuring a broad range of articles on all different aspects of religion online.


Vol 6 (2014)

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Dear readers,


In a Ubisoft Forums' thread on "Religion in Assassin's Creed" a participant called TJByrum2 wrote the following passage starting the thread: "Assassin's Creed has lots of references to religion and the Gods. Well, even though I am not very religious myself, I just love to hear about it, see it, experience it." In order to celebrate the complete redesign of Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet we decided to dedicate this first special issue to a subject which is both highly relevant and mostly neglected by Cultural and Religious Studies: “Religion in Digital Games“!


Our editorial team was able to assemble articles by authors from many different disciplines and we are proud to present you with a truly interdisciplinary and multiperspective compilation which hopefully will encourage further academic research on the topic. So I am very pleased to announce the new issue of our journal. And I am pretty sure this only will be the first of many equally scientifically challenging issues of our journal in the near future.

I wish you an enjoyable read!

Gregor Ahn (editor in chief)


Vol 5 (2014): Religion in Digital Games. Multiperspective and Interdisciplinary Approaches

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Last Issue

Vol. 15 (2020)
Published: 2020-06-22