Religion in the Public Sphere

Digital Effervescence: How the GTA Reimagined Religion in the Time of COVID

In March, 2021, a panel of diverse religious leaders from around Toronto, facilitated by scholars from the DSR, engaged in a conversation on how religious communities have changed and adapted one year into the global pandemic. Scholars of religion have long talked about what they call “collective effervescence”—the electric energy that bubbles up in crowds and is integral to so many aspects of religious life. Many scholars would say that there’s no way to replicate this energy online, without the physical presence of human bodies. We beg to differ. We think that both universities and religious communities have been devising new forms of collective life and new kinds of energy during this crisis period. The online meeting of minds showed that "Digital Effervescense" is possible. digital effervescence