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Title: Gender, faith, and storytelling : an ethnography of the charismatic Internet
Author: Stewart, Anna Rose
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 4011
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2013
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Although early predictions that an emerging 'cyberspace' could exist in separation from offline life have been largely discarded, anthropological studies of the internet have continued to find notions of 'virtual reality' relevant as individuals use these technologies to fulfil the "pledges they have already made" (Boellstorff, 2008; Miller & Slater, 2001: 19) about their own selfhood and their place in the world. There are parallels between this concept of 'virtual reality' and the on-going spiritual labour of Charismatic Christians in the UK, who seek in the context of a secularising nation to maintain a sense of presence in the “coming Kingdom” of God. The everyday production of this expanded spiritual context depends to a large extend on verbal genres that are highly gendered. For women, declarations of faith are often tied to domestic settings, personal narratives, and the unspoken testimony of daily life (e.g. Lawless, 1988; Griffith, 1997). The technologies of the internet, whose emerging genres challenge boundaries between personal and social, public and private, can cast a greater illumination on this inward-focused labour. This doctoral thesis is based on ethnographic research in four Charismatic Evangelical congregations and examination of the online practices of churchgoers. I have found that the use of the internet by Charismatic Christian women fits with wider religious preoccupations and patterns of ritual practice. Words posted through Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and other online platforms come to resemble in their form as well as their content Christian narratives of a life with meaning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BX8762 Pentecostal churches ; TK5105.5 Computer networks. General works ; ZA4050 Electronic information resources