Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

From Online Buddha Halls to Robot-Monks

From Online Buddha Halls to Robot-Monks The interaction between religion and the new media has affected the perception that society has of religion, changed cardinal structures in the relationship between religious practice and religious authorities, and also transformed features and functions of the media. If we look at mainland China today, religious individuals and groups have their own WeChat and Weibo accounts, and internet websites; some believers operate solely in cyberspace and perform rituals online; and commercials often adopt religious symbols to brand nonreligious products. In other words, we find religious people or organizations that use (and even own) different media platforms as channels of communication; we also see that religious imageries are more and more put to use in the secular domain for nonreligious purposes.This article will analyze how and why Buddhists have resorted to social and digital media and even robotics to preach the Dharma and attract potential new followers, but also to redefine their public image in the wider Chinese society. This study also will ask whether the state has directed or merely engaged with this new Dharma media-enterprise, and in what way. In addressing these questions, one section of this article will explore the creation of the robot-monk Xian’er (at the Longquan Monastery, Beijing). Xian’er’s creation will be considered in relation to similar androids, placed in dialogue with the current debate on the use of robotics in religion, and viewed from posthumanist perspectives. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Religion and Chinese Society Brill

From Online Buddha Halls to Robot-Monks

Review of Religion and Chinese Society , Volume 7 (1): 29 – May 20, 2020

Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/from-online-buddha-halls-to-robot-monks-xZOXDpKxvL
Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2214-3947
eISSN
2214-3955
DOI
10.1163/22143955-00701006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The interaction between religion and the new media has affected the perception that society has of religion, changed cardinal structures in the relationship between religious practice and religious authorities, and also transformed features and functions of the media. If we look at mainland China today, religious individuals and groups have their own WeChat and Weibo accounts, and internet websites; some believers operate solely in cyberspace and perform rituals online; and commercials often adopt religious symbols to brand nonreligious products. In other words, we find religious people or organizations that use (and even own) different media platforms as channels of communication; we also see that religious imageries are more and more put to use in the secular domain for nonreligious purposes.This article will analyze how and why Buddhists have resorted to social and digital media and even robotics to preach the Dharma and attract potential new followers, but also to redefine their public image in the wider Chinese society. This study also will ask whether the state has directed or merely engaged with this new Dharma media-enterprise, and in what way. In addressing these questions, one section of this article will explore the creation of the robot-monk Xian’er (at the Longquan Monastery, Beijing). Xian’er’s creation will be considered in relation to similar androids, placed in dialogue with the current debate on the use of robotics in religion, and viewed from posthumanist perspectives.

Journal

Review of Religion and Chinese SocietyBrill

Published: May 20, 2020

There are no references for this article.