religion on youtube

interesting article in time magazine a couple weeks ago about religion on youtube.

here’s the opening graph:

When people think of religion on YouTube, most probably flash to “gotcha” videos of Sarah Palin’s old church or Barack Obama’s old pastor. But the video-sharing site is also being used by a wildly diverse collection of pastors, rabbis, imams, gurus, and pious laypeople to celebrate and explain their creeds. These aren’t glitzy televangelists. In keeping with the YouTube ethos, many simply fire up camcorder and go. But low cost and infinite range, plus the mini-video’s ascent as one of the culture’s preferred ways of imbibing information, means vastly increased exposure for clerics who would otherwise have tiny flocks. “For years, people in my business talked about how the Internet was going to revolutionize religion the way the printing press helped create Protestantism, but it didn’t happen,” says Steve Waldman, founder of the multi-faith website Beliefnet. But with the rise of YouTube, he thinks the unassuming, grass-roots religion clips like the ones that follow “could be the beginning of that kind of transformation.”

2 thoughts on “religion on youtube”

  1. I saw this – solid piece of reporting – but I sorta disagree with what Waldman’s point seems to be

    If you look at Luther & the printing press, the lasting impact was not simply distributing Luther’s tracts – it was just as much his hymns.

    Waldman may be pointing out that print publishers were betting on the interwebs, but the broader shift among Jesus followers nurtured by blogs & discussion boards & chat..well, my pushback would be that the “revolution” that Waldman hopes for has been underway for several years now.

    I tend to agree that video is HUGE in this transformation – but I wonder if one of the central challenges is moving away from a one-to-many broadcast model that so much of churchianity relies on, to a more tribal many-to-many model that the net mirrors.

    There is a model for the inter-connectedness – the Trinity. And the shift in theology is so much bigger than the shift in tactics or technology.

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