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Digitalization has changed everyday communication in many ways. The coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this shift and made us keenly aware of both the potential and the limits of digital communication. This is especially applicable to the topic of religion and spirituality.
The project "Digital Social Dynamics of Spirituality: Spirituality and Religiosity in the Context of Digital Communication" addresses the influence of digitalization on communication and examines the extent to which this impacts interaction in religious communities and the Swiss population as a whole. In doing so, we are interested in individual spiritual well-being as well as the social dynamics associated with it.
The aim of this project is to understand how religious communities use digital media to fulfill various functions such as endowing life with meaning. Furthermore, we seek to ascertain in what way or by what means digital media are able to fulfill spiritual functions for individuals and social networks.
These two goals are examined using various methods of the social sciences, including social network analyses in religious settings (such as a Christian youth group) and population-representative survey studies.
Our research will contribute to harnessing the potential of digitalization for the benefit of religious communities as well as the broader public. This might be expressed in individual spiritual well-being or an interaction within religious communities experienced as positive, but also in the respectful coexistence of different faiths.