Monday, October 3, 2011

Media and Religion: A Loss of Tradition? Or An Innovative Networking System?

For the next several weeks I will be focusing this blog on how media and digital culture affects the traditional values of religion as well as its' affect on progress; specifically with the Hindu religion. Hinduism is the oldest religion practiced. It is largely mistaken in its' beliefs because of the great amount of stereotyping it receives and common misconceptions held by the average human. It has a diverse belief system for its followers, allowing them more free range of a faith to believe in either one god, multiple gods, or no specific god, but more of a spirituality. Their central ideas focus around that of Dharma (ethics and duties), Samsara (the continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Moksha (liberation from samsara), and the various Yogas (paths or practices).

The main research for this project will come from my encounters with the Shri Omkarnath Temple of the Hindu Society of Brazos Valley as well as various scholarly articles that help show the main points of the religion and how it interacts with media currently. Based on the Shri Omkarnath Temple, members focus on three aspects of God: Brhama (the creator), Vishnu (he who maintains), and Shiva (the destroyer). After personally seeing the Temple and speaking with one its' members I was able to understand a lot about their practice within their religion, as well as get an idea of what kind of media they deal with and how they use it to further their spiritual selves.

The following posts should help bridge the gap between media and Hinduism, and show how digital culture can have a huge impact within an extremely traditional religion.

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