عنوان مقاله [English]
In the pre- virtual world which took about two milleniums, “God” was assumed as the cornerstone of traditional theology especially in Abrahamic religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
But now in the virtual world provided by the internet, we are witnessing a new situation that could be called “Media –oriented religion” or “popularization of religion”. The outcome is, therefore, “virtual theology”, the essence of which is “virtual God”. This phenomenon is regretfully neglected in sociological, cultural, and media studies of religion. This article first undertakes a theoretical review of “virtual theology and God,” and then makes a qualitative analysis of the “virtual representation of God” in Persian weblogs, especially blogfa. It is shown that in comparision with traditional media, the western academia and Islamic seminaries in pre- virtual world, these weblogs have managed to challenge the traditional notion of God and theology, due to their unique virtual and media – based status. They have launched, instead a “textual hegemony” and a “popularized God”. This challenge, apart from our for or against judgment and its threatening or opportunity providing nature vis - a - vis the traditional religiousness in the third millennium, has afforded an intriguing subject for the sociology of religion, especially by focusing on the trio: “sociology of religious weblogs” , “cultural studies of virtually popularized religion” and “studies of the religious media”, in Iran.