This article investigates the growth of online religion through a study of Ocean: The Vast Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa. Opened to the public in the spring of 2015 with a series of courses, practices, and gatherings, Ocean describes itself as an online site of practice, study, and community dedicated to the life and teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist reincarnate teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939/40-1987). Closely examining Ocean’s history, design, and programs, I illustrate how Ocean exemplifies a shift from religion online primarily comprised of individuals consuming information toward the increasing presence of spaces that support more participatory, accessible, and interactive relationships among their users. I draw upon Heidi Campbell’s concept of “networked religion,” to examine Ocean as a novel space for the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism that is both becoming entangled with users’ offline religious lives and practices and a new site for the negotiation of participation and authority.
"Tibetan Buddhism in the Digital Age: Exploring Online Buddhist Study, Practice, and Community on Ocean: The Vast Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa,"
NEXT: Vol. 5
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholar.colorado.edu/next/vol5/iss1/6