Margarita Simon Guillory is Associate Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Boston University. She is the author of Social and Spiritual Transformation in African American Spiritual Churches (Routledge 2017) and co-editor of Esotericism in African American Religious Experience (Brill 2014). In addition to these works, she has published articles in the Journal of Gnostic Studies, Culture and Religion, and Pastoral Psychology. Her current project, Africana Religion in the Digital Age, considers how African Americans utilize the Internet, social media, mobile applications, and gaming to forge new ways to express their religious identities.
Funded Project: Africana Religion in the Digital Age
This project seeks to further diversify and complicate the field of Africana religious studies by considering the ways in which digital technology has impacted the religious experiences of African Americans. Specifically, it considers how African Americans utilize digital interactive media like the Internet, social media, mobile applications, and gaming to forge new ways to express their religious identities. Christianity is a continuous marker of religious identity for many African Americans. However, a digital approach to Africana religion as practiced in the U.S. uncovers other religious traditions. Spiritualism, hoodoo, and Yoruba-based religions represent only a few of the many non-Christian traditions used by African Americans to construct complex religious identities. Digital technology complicates the traditional, Christianized religious narrative by highlighting this religious diversity. Currently, there are no scholarly works that engage Africana religion in this way. Thus, Africana Religion in the Digital Age—which includes the publication of a scholarly book and the development of a mobile application—will be the first of its kind to examine interconnections between technology, identity construction, and religious practice in African American communities. Africana Religion in the Digital Age, Routledge Studies in Religion and Digital Culture Series.
Africana Religion in the Digital Age, Routledge Studies in Religion and Digital Culture Series (forthcoming)
ROAD “Religions of the African Diaspora Mobile App (forthcoming)
“Playing with Voodoo: Race and Representation in Video Games,” at the American Academy of Religion (November, 2022)
“Black Religion in the Digital Age,” in The Black Scholar (Fall, 2022)
“To Boldly Go: Technological Frontiers and the Changing Landscape of American Religions,” at the Chautauqua Institution (July, 2021)
“Divine Tech-Talk: Africana Religion in the Digital Age,” at the American Academy of Religion (December, 2020)
“Playing with Voodoo Dolls: Race, Africana Religion, and representation in Digital Games,” at the Institute of Buddhist Studies (October, 2019)
“The Internet, Selfie, and Ritual: The Purple People’s Use of Digital Technology in Past Life regression Rituals,” American Academy of Religion (November, 2018)
“Virtual ROAD to Intimacy: Using an Africana Religious Mobile App to Foster Relationships,” at the Institute of Buddhist Studies (October, 2018)