Virtual Christian Places. Between Innovation and Tradition

  • Stefan Gelfgren (Author)
    Associate professor HUMlab/Dept. of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Umeå University Sweden

Identifiers (Article)


With the starting point of all Christian places (114 places) in the virtual world Second Life (SL), this article aims to study how SL is part of a negotiation process between old offline media and new online media, between established traditions and innovation. The questions addressed in this article are how such places are constructed, the constructor’s intentions and how they are related to established traditions.

The idea behind this study was that the owners (studied through a questionnaire) set the agenda for what is going on at the place they own, and for how the places are constructed.

The virtual world gives almost endless possibilities to create any form of place for Christian community and celebration, and people are limited only by their imaginations, but still tradition play an important aspect of the constructions.

Concepts such as ‘remediation’, ‘hybridity’, and ‘affordance’ are used to interpret the places and their relation to traditions and the so called real world.


Christianity, church, Second Life, remediation, hybridity, affordance, digital humanities, secularisation