Contextual Responses to Interreligious Encounters Online

P.G.A. Versteeg, A. Pons-de Wit, J.H. Roeland

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Increasingly, interreligious encounters occur through internet communication. The debate on the influence of internet communication on interreligious encounters is characterized by a contradiction between the theory of cyber-balkanization on the one hand and the theory of networked religion on the other. However, neither theory is contextualized and neither can therefore explain why an interreligious encounter results in either interreligious conflict or mutual understanding. In this article, a contextualized approach to the implications of internet communication for interreligious relationships is advocated. The authors show that contextualization on the level of the openness of the religious group is too one-dimensional. Therefore, a contextual reception model on the level of the situation is developed to explicate the possible attitudinal and behavioral positions within an online interreligious encounter. This model can be used to investigate the implications of internet communication for interreligious relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-104
JournalSocial Compass
Issue number1
Early online date2 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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