Sp MUJLT

The special issue of the Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology (MUJLT) is out. As guest editors, Robert M. Geraci and I have tried to put together unique collection of articles on technology and religion. Three of the articles published deal with the production of Islamic knowledge for European Muslim minorities on the Internet – namely Carmen Becker’s article on German and Dutch Salafi online forums, Jens Kutscher’s article on online muftis, and my essay on marriage and divorce fatwas online.

Thanks to the kind approval of Radim Polcak, the MUJLT’s editor-in-chief, the following articles dealing with Islam and/or the Middle East are available online:


Vit Sisler: European Courts’ Authority Contested? The Case of Marriage and Divorce Fatwas On-line

This article explores Islamic websites providing normative content for European Muslim minorities. It focuses on four distinct Sunni websites and analyzes their fatwas, i.e. legal and religious recommendations issued in matters...


Jens Kutscher: The Politics of Virtual Fatwa Counseling in the 21st Century

A multitude of fatwa services sprung up on the Internet during the last few years and has grown since. One finds askimam.org, islamicity.com, islamonline.net, and islamqa.com among them. Yet it is not only these private Muslim...


Carmen Becker: “Gaining Knowledge” – Salafi Activism in German and Dutch Online Forums

Recent years have witnessed an expansion of Salafi activism into computer-mediated environments like online discussion forums. Forum activities are part of the activists' endeavor to access the religious sources (Quran and Sunnah)...


Marek Cejka: Making the Internet Kosher – Orthodox (Haredi) Jews and Their Approach to the World Wide Web

This article surveys the approach of Orthodox Judaism – especially the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Judaism – to the Internet. In the introduction we compare the approach of the Abrahamic religions to the Internet. Then we focus on the...


Publication Data

Technology and Religion: Special Issue of the Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology / edited by Robert M. Geraci and Vit Sisler
Vol. 3, No. 1, Summer 2009 / ISSN 1802-5943

Introduction

Excerpt from the introduction wrtitten by Robert M. Geraci:

For the past 50 years, interest in the relationship between religion and science has slowly gained significance among academics and the public alike. Controversies over evolution and Intelligent Design, for example, have played out in the American press and in American politics (and increasingly in European and Middle Eastern public life as well) with journalists frequently channeling images of Galileo on his knees, recanting the Copernican hypothesis that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Such struggles for truth and—more importantly—for public authority are the subject of expanding intellectual interest and ever more sophisticated analysis. Progress in the study of religion and science, however, has often neglected the importance of technology. Even in those articles which address technological matters (such as stem cell research, genetic manipulation, or artificial intelligence), the role of technology is routinely subsumed within the broad and seemingly sufficient scope of “science”. Certainly, technology should not be severed from science and the social study of technology should never be divorced from the social study of science. Nevertheless, academic progress in the study of technological culture demands that—from time to time—we think about technology as a properly distinct element of modern life.

This special issue of The Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology offers snapshots of the contemporary world, in which globalization and rapid technological progress by no means suggest the regress of religiosity. Each essay explores elements in the study of religion and technology. Taken individually, the articles shed light on particular cultures, religions, technologies and practices. Taken as a whole, the journal recasts our inherited understanding of religion and science (and thus of culture) in a new light. As secularism theories fade away before the present resurgence of religion—thanks to the renewal of traditional religious forms, the rise of new age religiosity, and the hybridization of religion and technology in new religious movements—we have no choice but to take serious account of the interaction between technology and religious practice. These institutions, which dominate so much of daily life for people around the globe, thoroughly penetrate one another. The authors in this journal provide us with new ethnographic data and new theoretical constructs, in the process deconstructing the too simplistic paradigms of the past and helping us to understand the groups and individuals they investigate.

Articles

Robert M. Geraci: Technology and Religion – An Introduction to the Special Issue of the Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology  (1-6)

John G. Whitesides: Religion, Genetics, and the Evolving American Experiment with Bioethics (7-32)

Jens Kutscher: The Politics of Virtual Fatwa Counseling in the 21st Century (33-50)

Vit Sisler: European Courts’ Authority Contested? The Case of Marriage and Divorce Fatwas On-line (51-78)

Carmen Becker: “Gaining Knowledge” – Salafi Activism in German and Dutch Online Forums (79-98)

Marek Cejka: Making the Internet Kosher – Orthodox (Haredi) Jews and Their Approach to the World Wide Web (99-110)

Pavel Sindelar: Whose Message Will Win the Souls? The Future Development of Religious Life in Cyberspace and Its “Chinese Characteristic” (111-124)

Alexander D. Ornella: The Promethean Myth. An Argument for Methodological Atheism (125-152)

Stef Aupers: “The force is great” – Enchantment and Magic in Silicon Valley (153-173)


Annual subscription for the printed version of MUJLT can be ordered on the journal website.

You can also access past and recent articles through the database HeinOnline.