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Hashtag Islam : How Cyber-Islamic Environments Are Transforming Religious Authority - Gary R. Bunt

Hashtag Islam

How Cyber-Islamic Environments Are Transforming Religious Authority

By: Gary R. Bunt

Paperback | 30 October 2018 | Edition Number 1

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Gary R. Bunt is a twenty-year pioneer in the study of cyber-Islamic environments (CIEs). In his new book, Bunt explores the diverse and surprising ways digital technology is shaping how Muslims across vast territories relate to religious authorities in fulfilling spiritual, mystical, and legalistic agendas. From social networks to websites, essential elements of religious practices and authority now have representation online. Muslims, embracing the immediacy and general accessibility of the internet, are increasingly turning to cyberspace for advice and answers to important religious questions. Online environments often challenge traditional models of authority, however. One result is the rise of digitally literate religious scholars and authorities whose influence and impact go beyond traditional boundaries of imams, mullahs, and shaikhs.

Bunt shows how online rhetoric and social media are being used to articulate religious faith by many different kinds of Muslim organizations and individuals, from Muslim comedians and women's rights advocates to jihad-oriented groups, such as the "Islamic State" and al-Qaeda, which now clearly rely on strategic digital media policies to augment and justify their authority and draw recruits. This book makes clear that understanding CIEs is crucial for the holistic interpretation of authority in contemporary Islam.

Industry Reviews
Insightful. . . . Bunt paints a rich and comprehensive picture of the evolving Islamic discourses in cyberspace and their cause and effect relationship with the equally shifting notion of Islamic authority in the digital age." --American Religion

Hashtag Islam provides an extensive and elaborate guided tour of recent CIEs' developments. . . . A real tour de force.--Studies in Religion

Readers of Hashtag Islam will be struck by just how active, vibrant, and popular online Islam appears to be . . . . An indispensable resource.--Sociology of Religion

This slim volume by one of the major scholars writing on Muslims and digital religion packs a substantial punch. . . . An important addition.--Middle East Journal

Bunt presents a variety of perspectives on online Islamic environments and provides thoughtful consideration of their implications, but overall he views them and their ongoing expansion in a positive light.--Choice

Adroitly illustrates how approaches to religious authority, interpretation, power, and communication have changed over the last two decades. . . . An important addition to literature on contemporary Islam.--Publishers Weekly

The sociological underpinnings of this work make for a touchstone for further investigation.--Library Journal

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