Creating immersion and engagement: studies in religion in Second Life

Farley, Helen S. (2008) Creating immersion and engagement: studies in religion in Second Life. In: The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future: Entropia, 4-5 June 2008, Entropia, Second Life .

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This presentation seeks to address some of the issues and explore the benefits associated with teaching tertiary-level studies in religion in Second Life. This popular virtual world provides an unparalleled opportunity for people to interact with each other and their environment in unfamiliar and innovative ways. Though originally applied to the acquisition of language skills, immersive learning has been found to be equally useful in other disciplines. For students of studies in religion, successful role identification would enable them to view a variety of belief systems through fresh eyes, helping them to acquire desirable graduate attributes. These would include the acquisition of knowledge about other cultures and times, or the fostering of intercultural communication and an appreciation of cultural diversity, historical consciousness and a global perspective.

A number of elaborately and carefully designed religious spaces already exist within Second Life, their creators encouraging participation in rituals and worship. Every Sunday on Epiphany Island an avatar can take communion and hear the sermon delivered by Anglican minister Arkin Ariantho. But just as Second Life enables followers of many faiths to worship and engage with their religious communities, it also provides the opportunity for students to fully participate in a ritual or role-play in a way that is not feasible in real life for legal, financial and ethical reasons, even if appropriate spaces did exist within their geographical location. The possibilities for using these already extant spaces and the creation of purpose-built ‘religious spaces’ to creative immersive learning opportunities for use in the studies in religion curriculum will be discussed.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute (8 Dec 2010 - 6 Jul 2016)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute (8 Dec 2010 - 6 Jul 2016)
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 05:18
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 05:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: Second Life; studies in religion; religion; immersion; ritual; virtual worlds; MUVE; MMORPG
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics, Business and Management)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220402 Comparative Religious Studies
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies

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