Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religion

Advisor(s)

Zachary J. Braiterman

Keywords

Death, Digital, Media, Posthumanism, Religion, Ritual

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Religion

Abstract

This dissertation offers a posthuman theory of the digital mediation of religion, divided between theoretical chapters on posthumanism, ritual, and new media before two case studies: one on death, one on play. First developing conceptual relationships between posthumanism and religious studies and methodological connections between new media and ritual theories, it then asks questions in the playful and experimental ritual spaces of video games and the profoundly material and ecological spaces of digital mourning objects. For example: how do digital readouts on the health of a plant fed by cremains reposition living and dead bodies? Or, how do video games that ritualize death change how with think about playing with technology? By offering an emergent, embodied, networked, and ecological sense of ritualization and digital media this dissertation avoids logocentric, genderless, and disembodied theories of both religion and the digital while bringing a posthuman epistemology to religion, death, and media studies.

Access

Open Access

Available for download on Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Included in

Religion Commons

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