The phenomenon of digital religion

Religion has been transformed by digitalisation. This has been more pronounced in the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic which has kept many worshippers largely at home with religion delivered online at home.

In a recent keynote address on "Freedom of Religion in the Age of Social Media", Associate Professor Jaclyn Neo, Director of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at NUS Law, discussed this rapid digitalisation and the rise of social media, and considered the impact of this phenomenon on how religion is understood and experienced. She examined the shifts in technological impact from religion online to online religion, and finally to digital religion today.

In the final part of her lecture, she examined how these changes are challenging existing intellectual frames for the right to freedom of religion, including a claim for a public-private dichotomy, before exhorting for fresh approaches to advancing religious freedom.

The keynote address was delivered at the Professor Shah Alam Memorial Lecture on 24 June 2021 at the opening of the 2nd Professor Shah Alam Constitutional Law Virtual Moot Court Competition 2021. The event was organised by Empowerment through Law of the Common People (ELCOP), an organisation of law professors and students from different universities in Bangladesh.