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Remote Religion / Remote Region: Practicing and Researching Remote Religion in the Andaman Islands
Journal of Marine and Island Cultures ; 10(2):105-116, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1687693
ABSTRACT
Remoteness is an attribute that has often been negatively attached to island-spaces like the Andaman Islands, separated from the Indian mainland by the vast Bay of Bengal, located at the ‘liquid borderlands’ of South and Southeast Asia. The Covid-19 pandemic, on the other hand, has popularised the use of ‘remote’ methods of enabling religio-social interaction. The islanders of these geographically ‘remote’ locations use these ‘remote’ ways of connecting to perform their religious practices and maintain their faith networks, which is otherwise compromised due to the pandemic-induced restrictions on social gatherings. By exploring the ‘online’ global faith networks of the little-known Matua religion, as well as, the social, technical and logistical constraints in the devotees’ access to ‘remote’ religion, the paper addresses two questions first, how do individuals play out their identities, both as islander and as devotee, ‘online’;second, what are the corresponding technological and logistical conditions that enable their ‘presence’ and who are the ‘absent’ actors. Drawing from remotely collected data, particularly online ethnography and telephonic interviews, the paper explores the mediating role of technology in destabilizing, as well as, solidifying concepts of remoteness and isolation, particularly in the peripheries of nation, during times of restricted mobility. © 2021 Institution for Marine and Island Cultures, Mokpo National University.
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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: Scopus Type of study: Qualitative research Language: English Journal: Journal of Marine and Island Cultures Year: 2021 Document Type: Article

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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: Scopus Type of study: Qualitative research Language: English Journal: Journal of Marine and Island Cultures Year: 2021 Document Type: Article