Digital Worship as Fostering or Inhibiting Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion


  • Geneva Blackmer The University of Bonn



digital worship, digital theology, digital ecclesiology, theology of disability, digital religion, digital church, online church, digital divide, digital inequity, social inclusion, social cohesion, social resilience, capabilities approach, ecumenism


This paper seeks to address the ways and extent to which participation in digital worship might be seen as fostering or inhibiting social inclusion and social cohesion, and to assess the current state of research on this important topic from both a sociological and theological perspective. It aims to broaden digital theological understanding beyond sacramental and ecclesiological concerns towards more wholistic concerns of participation and belonging, intersecting with the digital divide and theology of disability. Drawing on the work of Martha Nussbaum and the capabilities approach, this paper proposes consideration of digital participations with respect to their significance for cultivating participation in community by conducting a literature review of various studies. Further, it addresses ambivalences which arise out of these studies, as digital access seems to enhance certain forms of connectedness while rendering other forms less stable. Observation of these ambivalences is framed into research desiderata for future study on the interrelationship of digital participation in religious community and the facilitation of community and social resilience. With the intention of building upon this recent research to address the more specific question of what kinds of digital participation foster social inclusion with a focus on religious communities, it identifies concrete pathways for further academic inquiry, and suggests a framework for new practical theological questions centering justice and inclusion.




How to Cite

“Digital Worship As Fostering or Inhibiting Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion”. 2024. Ecclesial Futures 5 (1): 67-78.