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Monday, February 19, 2007

This week at Spirit of Second Life.

The Spring issue of UU World is arriving in mailboxes now. In this week's online edition, managing editor Kenneth Sutton visits the virtual-reality First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life and profiles several of its members. The church's builder, incidentally, has made a promotional film worth watching, especially if you've never visited Second Life:

(What Does It Mean To Be A Church? - video powered by Metacafe)

In the news, Tom Stites reports that the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry honored three Massachusetts UU congregations for their gay marriage advocacy.

Due to technical difficulties with the new Blogger, we're unable to update Sonja Cohen's Unitarian Universalists in the Media news blog this week, but I'm working on it.

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 19 February 2007 at 9:16 AM

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Jason Pitzl-Waters:

February 20, 2007 02:22 PM | Permalink for this comment

While I'm happy that people with limited mobility can find some solace in Second Life, there is something about this that makes me uneasy. Perhaps it is because I come from a religious perspective that places a high premium on experiential practice, connection with the natural world, and community.

Going to "virtual church" while perhaps useful for the isolated or handicapped, seems to move away from the point of going to "church" in the first place (I feel the same about "virtual" Pagan rituals). One might find a religious service dull, or the sermon annoying, or that the person next to you needs to bathe more often, but it is at least a visceral experience in which you interact with other people on a slightly deeper level than in your day to day life.

Sometimes SL just comes across as the latest shiny new toy that everyone says will "change everything" (often "forever").

Maybe I'm just bitter because my computer isn't fast enough to "experience" it for myself. ;)


April 2, 2007 06:08 PM | Permalink for this comment

USA Today covers religion in Second Life, mentioning the UU congregation just before quoting a Roman Catholic who misses a great chance to explain why some rituals — like the eucharist — don't really work in virtual space. Instead, he just comes off like a dogmatic jerk.

("Faithful build a Second Life for religion online," Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today 4.2.07)

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