This study argues that the communities of Darkwood Brew, Buddhist Geeks, and St. Pixels—falling within the field digital religion—express a form of “coffee shop spirituality” that allows participants to experience their religious lives in new ways and become part of an active community for the purpose of finding spiritual fulfillment. Additionally, these groups reflect a new relationship between the digital and the religious that is filling the “third space” in practitioner’s lives. To reach these conclusions, this study will first follow the scholarly development of this field. Next, it will look on the websites and into the services they provide to find the presence of epistemological strategies (appeals to tradition, appeals to rationality, and a focus on the experience itself) that these communities use to legitimize their claims to knowledge and authority. Lastly, it will take this analysis of each group and use the “coffee shop spirituality” lens to illuminate continuities with larger phenomenon in society. This independent study will be using data collected directly from the various community websites, and will not be conducting interviews or surveys.
Freeman, Carl William D., "Coffee Shop Spirituality on the Internet: Strategies of Epistemology at Work in Digital Religion" (2014). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 6066.
Communication Technology and New Media | Other Religion | Religion | Social Media
digital religion, online religion, epistemology, third space
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2014 Carl William D. Freeman