Is a virtual 'second life' for real, ask religious communicators

By staff writers
November 13, 2009

Is an online alternate life for real, and how does it relate to the life of faith? Christian and other faith communicators plan to discuss the latest web phenomenon at a major gathering in Chicago next year.

The hot interactive media topic will be tackled by David Louder, a Lutheran (ELCA) Campus Pastor at Western Michigan University, at the Religion Communication Congress scheduled for 7-10 April 2010.

Focusing on the virtual world of Second Life (SL), the presentation and workshop will offer examples of ways in which faith communities are employing SL to share, develop and communicate religious commitment.

Participants will consider additional possibilities for using SL as a platform in service to faith communities. The pros and cons of virtual worlds as they may impact upon spiritual development will be explored, concentrating on the relationship between virtuality and reality.

The Rev Dr David Louder has been a resident of Second Life since 2006 and is a participant in several communities in SL, including the widely known Anglican Cathedral of Second Life.

The Religion Communication Congress (RCCongress 2010) is an international, interfaith gathering of religion communicators held every ten years and offering cutting edge skills-building workshops, challenging plenary speakers, and networking opportunities with communications professionals.

Registration for the 2010 gathering in Chicago is now open. For more information, visit

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