Lifelong Spiritual Learning: Religious Older Adults Going Digital

Sarit Okun, Galit Nimrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This qualitative study sought to explore the role of online religious learning in alleviating distress and enhancing wellbeing in later life. Twenty-six religious Jewish individuals aged 70-96 were personally trained in their homes to use an experimental spiritual learning website. Their experiences were documented for six months via interviews, media ethnographies, and monthly follow-ups. Analysis identified the participants' initial ambivalent attitudes towards online religious learning, which extended the discussion of cultural barriers to the integration of digital technologies for religious observance and the maintenance of communal boundaries. However, this research group's experience highlighted the intellectual, social, and emotional benefits garnered by participation in online religious learning in later life. The findings indicate that this informal educational channel may supplement religious praxis and fill the lives of older religious adults with positive rewards and, thereby, improve their psychological and social wellbeing. c koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-427
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Internet
  • Lifelong learning
  • Old age
  • Religion
  • Wellbeing

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