Dizang Forum: The Formation of Virtual Buddhist Community and the Innovation of Dizang Belief in Modern China

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Date

2017

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Kim, Hwansoo

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Abstract

In this modern era, our lives are largely influenced by digital technology and the Internet. The interactive feature of the new technology has transformed our conventional understanding of objects. Technology that provides easiness to our life is not unmoved but actively and interactively reshapes and forms human culture and society. This thesis is based on the hypothesis that religious communities and people's religious lives are also under the influence of and transformed by this revolution in technology.

The purpose of this thesis is the examination of the formation and operation of a Chinese online Buddhist forum called Dizang forum and analysis of how it works as a virtual Buddhist community and deconstruct the model of the traditional Buddhist community. By doing close research on how the members of the forum inherit and innovate traditional Dizang belief and practices with modern values and online technology, the aim of this thesis is to explore how technology, and specifically the Internet, transforms religion. The methodology used in this study involved gathering and analyzing data, web page analyzing, religious study, historical study, and media study.

The conclusion of the thesis is that online Buddhist forums, taking the Dizang forum as an example, have already revolutionized the traditional lay people community and thus transformed people's interaction with religion.

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Bi, Youteng (2017). Dizang Forum: The Formation of Virtual Buddhist Community and the Innovation of Dizang Belief in Modern China. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15247.

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