Now, thanks to Web logs (called blogs) and other Internet postings, critics in every faith tradition are getting a hearing far beyond the synagogue, church or mosque parking lot. Forced to listen because others are, religious leaders are responding in ways that show how religious authority is shifting in the 21st century.
All authority structures deriving power from beliefs or creeds are getting tested, it seems, as bloggers match wits with established vessels of information. The news media provide a case in point. The hastened retirements of CBS News anchorman Dan Rather and New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines were attributed at least in part to bloggers who showcased information that proved more accurate than what appeared in news reports.
In religion, bloggers well-versed in Scripture and church rules as well as in offering personal testimonies are challenging official policies and winning followers of their own. Traditional authorities, meanwhile, are seeing problems and opportunities alike in the new milieu. How they respond depends to a large degree on what their respective theologies say about the value of voices from the proverbial peanut gallery.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Interesting article on the impact of religious blogging here (HT).
Posted by Ben at 5/27/2006