CPF: Apocalyptic Belief and the Internet (Abstracts May 1)

full name / name of organization: 
Robert Glenn Howard
contact email: 

DEADLINE May 1, 2009

(Please distribute widely, and my apologies for any cross-posting.)

Network Apocalypse: Visions of the End in an Age of Internet Media

This edited collection of work by international scholars would document how Internet communication is creating, adapting, and recreating beliefs about an imminent mass transformation resulting in the end of human history. How are ancient prophetic beliefs faring in our everyday lives as they have become technologized by network communication? How do religious communities sharing these beliefs use the Internet? Are everyday religious believers empowered or disempowered by Internet technologies? Are gender, ethic, and racial divisions being broken down or reinforced? How are text-based prophetic traditions adapting to the more dynamic and fluid understanding of the Word in our digital age?

The answers to these questions are important for scholars from a wide range of disciplines working on questions about how the Internet is changing some of our most powerful and recurring religious beliefs.

Each chapter of this book will focus on a specific sample of discourse that features apocalyptic beliefs. Comparative and theoretical chapters are also welcomed. Methods may be quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of both.

Chapter topics might include by are not limited to:
Christian, Islamic, Jewish, or other traditional apocalyptic expression online;
specific apocalyptic groups using the Internet;
online prophecy and/or prayer practices;
apocalyptic games, gamers, or gaming;
apocalyptic expression in virtual worlds;
apocalyptic communication via mobile communication technologies;
new apocalyptic religious movements using the Internet;
apocalyptic ideas or discourses that rely on theories of technology including concepts of "Gaia-mind," "singularity," and etc.

Please submit the following documents via email to Rob Howard (rgh@rghoward.com) by May 1, 2009:

1) a preliminary title for the proposed chapter
2) a 100-250 word abstract of the proposed chapter
3) a current CV

The successful abstracts will form part of a book proposal submitted in response to a request from Sheffield Phoenix Press for a series titled "The Apocalypse in Popular Culture." Full texts will be requested at a later date. Sheffield Phoenix Press is an academic press specializing in topics of religion that is seeking to expand its catalog on apocalyptic belief in contemporary society.

Robert Glenn Howard http://rghoward.com
University of Wisconsin -- Madison
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Arts
Associate Chair, Folklore Program
Affiliated Faculty, Religious Studies and the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture
Editor, _Western Folklore_