GSM Technology and its Use in Religious Life - A Preliminary Inquiry

Libuše Martínková

Abstract

GSM technology with all its highly interactive services and tools is closely related to the Internet and its growth in last few years has been enormous. It allows viewing the GSM communication space as the new terrain of scientific research. This study examines the way in which religious groups as well as the individuals use the GSM technology (including the service of SMS and MMS) in the Czech Republic. Communication - in all of its technologically available forms - is the important and official use of mobile phones. GSM technology - connected with Internet - also provides SMS services with biblical quotes or reminders with religious topics. Another characteristic of GSM use is the production and distribution of MMS with religious pictures (symbols). What was also found was the strong missionary effort of particular religious groups as well as of individual members, reflected in excessive GSM spamming. The typology is developed and the way in which mobile phones affect contemporary religious practice is discussed in this study.

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