Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twitting Orthodoxies Memes - A summary

"TwittingOrthodoxies"  is an Israeli-Jewish Facebook page, which features posting on Israeli-Jewish religious practices, community and cultural topics including memes. A sampling of memes appearing from September 2012 to August 2013, one meme per month, was taken to create a representation of memes focused around Jewish holidays and religious events, but also day-to-day routines. Selected memes employed images and texts drawing on international popular culture content (i.e. content related to movies, celebrities and organizations) combined with expressions of Jewish commandments, rituals and sacred texts. These memes are produced in Hebrew and were translated to English for this study.
This case study stresses that digital culture creates a space for lived religious practice, so religion can function as an exegetical frame that can engages secular, popular culture and religious Jewish people within a shared contemporary discourse. Rather than being seen as purely outside popular culture, religion can be understood as able to engage with through such intertextual communication in Internet memes. Memes allow religious groups to attach new meanings to cultural artifacts, and religious ideal practices can become tool for culture jamming in meme culture. These breaks the construction of the religious meta-narrative into fragmented, smaller understandings of religion that at the same time affirm the larger meta-narrative.

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