Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276407075001
Title: Religious authority and the new media
Authors: Turner, B.S. 
Keywords: Authority
Diaspora
Globalization
Islam
Memorization
Network society
Issue Date: Mar-2007
Citation: Turner, B.S. (2007-03). Religious authority and the new media. Theory, Culture and Society 24 (2) : 117-134. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276407075001
Abstract: In traditional societies, knowledge is organized in hierarchical chains through which authority is legitimated by custom. Because the majority of the population is illiterate, sacred knowledge is conveyed orally and ritualistically, but the ultimate source of religious authority is typically invested in the Book. The hadith (sayings and customs of the Prophet) are a good example of traditional practice. These chains of Islamic knowledge were also characteristically local, consensual and lay, unlike in Christianity, with its emergent ecclesiastical bureaucracies, episcopal structures and ordained priests. In one sense, Islam has no church. While there are important institutional differences between the world religions, network society opens up significant challenges to traditional authority, rapidly increasing the flow of religious knowledge and commodities. With global flows of knowledge on the Internet, power is no longer embodied and the person is simply a switchpoint in the information flow. The logic of networking is that control cannot be concentrated for long at any single point in the system; knowledge, which is by definition only temporary, is democratically produced at an infinite number of sites. In this Andy Warhol world, every human can, in principle, have their own site. While the Chinese Communist Party and several Middle Eastern states attempt to control this flow, their efforts are only partially successful. The result is that traditional forms of religious authority are constantly disrupted and challenged, but at the same time the Internet creates new opportunities for evangelism, religious instruction and piety. The outcome of these processes is, however, unknown and unknowable. There is a need, therefore, to invent a new theory of authority that is post-Weberian in reconstructing the conventional format of charisma, tradition and legal rationalism.
Source Title: Theory, Culture and Society
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/116887
ISSN: 02632764
DOI: 10.1177/0263276407075001
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

Show full item record
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

SCOPUSTM   
Citations

60
checked on Nov 14, 2018

WEB OF SCIENCETM
Citations

37
checked on Nov 14, 2018

Page view(s)

59
checked on Nov 16, 2018

Google ScholarTM

Check

Altmetric


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.