EATON, DAVID,PAUL,OWEN (2016) Online as it is in Heaven: An Exploration of the Phenomenon of Digital Presence, Techno-Soteriology, and the Secularisation of Transcendent Being. Masters thesis, Durham University.
|PDF - Accepted Version|
This thesis explores the phenomenon of ‘Digital Presence’: the sense that Social Network Sites (namely Facebook) constitute the sole means of communicating with the deceased. Previous investigations of Digital Presence have largely been quantitative surveys seeking to document the extent of the phenomenon; qualitative inquiries have not attempted to determine why certain survivors experience Digital Presence whilst others do not.
This thesis is a qualitative inquiry featuring interviews with eight survivors who interact with the profiles of the deceased. It seeks to determine the conditions in which the phenomenon occurs, and to explain Digital Presence with reference to theories and concepts from the field of cognitive neuroscience.
It also argues that the phenomenon is contingent upon notions of ‘The Digital’ as a vista which is ontologically distinct from the ‘Physical World’; it concludes that Digital Presence is ultimately the ‘deathstyle’ of a particular, secular worldview, i.e. this worldview’s response to the existential challenge posed by death.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Keywords:||Death, Facebook, Social media, thanatology, grief, grieving, communication|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||15 Jun 2016 11:43|