Aline Amaro da Silva & Marcus Túlio Oliveira Neto
In 2013, Antonio Spadaro published in his blog Cybertheology.it an experience he had in Second Life, a moment when his avatar gets down on his knees and begins to pray in a virtual church. Already at that time, the streets and squares of Second Life were filled with the most different forms of religiosity. The digital network since its creation has been a space for reflection and practice of faith, therefore a theological and pastoral place. One of the fathers of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, says that spiritual ideas and religious beliefs have directly influenced the design of the Internet model we use. Now further refined, the metaverse has received attention in the course of the new coronavirus pandemic, especially with investment announcements from Facebook and Microsoft. It is a digital universe woven by augmented reality elements that offer virtual spaces. This new environment presents itself as a frontier, a challenge and an alternative for the Church to evangelize, that is, “it is to make the kingdom of God present in the world” (EG, 176). Recently, on April 13, 2022, the first Brazilian Christian church in the metaverse was inaugurated. The Baptist Church of Lagoinha, which started in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, believes that being present in all digital platforms preaching the Gospel is more than a mission, it is a virtual calling. In order to understand how the experience of faith impacts the development in the digital communicative ecosystem, the research aims to analyze the presence and religious practices of Christian churches in this ambience.
Aline Amaro da Silva
PhD in Theology from PUCRS
Adjunct Professor and Researcher at the Center for Studies in Communication and Theology at PUC Minas.
Marcus Túlio Oliveira Neto
Master’s student in the Graduate Program in Social Communication: Midiatized Interactions at PUC Minas.