The Soul Online

The Soul Online

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Pandemics, conflicts, and crises have increased suffering, death, and loss worldwide. The growing phenomenon of online interactions by the bereaved with the online presence of their deceased loved ones has recently come to the attention of caring professionals. Many questions emerge. How do we understand and respond to digital memorialization? What do we make of digital identities and continuing bonds? How can we engage with digital bereavement communities? What is the future of digital death and bereavement rituals and practices? How have forms of technospirituality and cybergnosticism emerged? How do counselors and carers respond to advances in the digital afterlife? Graham Joseph Hill and Desiree Geldenhuys examine existing therapeutic responses to death and bereavement practices and evaluate the efficacy in meeting the needs of mourners in a digital context. Geldenhuys and Hill explore the rising interest in spirituality and the phenomenon of technospirituality, including interest in the afterlife. The authors outline new death and bereavement practices in the digital public sphere. Hill and Geldenhuys offer ways that therapeutic and care practitioners can meet these needs. Finally, the authors develop new proposals for counseling, pastoral, and spiritual carers to help them address the needs of the bereaved.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 146 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 9mm | 195g
  • English
  • 1725266504
  • 9781725266506
  • 1,009,035

Review quote

"The Soul Online covers very timely information related to grief and the digital age and connects current events to historical and recent societal trends. . . . The information presented is examined in a theoretical and scholarly manner and offers recommendations relevant to counseling and pastoral practitioners. I would recommend this book to those who work with grieving individuals and family."

--Nadine Pelling, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Counseling, University of South Australia

"Sharing our suffering and sorrow and receiving help and care online is a relatively new dynamic and one that Geldenhuys and Hill have diligently and creatively explored. This is an extraordinarily thoughtful and timely book. . . . The Soul Online is indeed an essential contribution to human flourishing! I was encouraged and challenged and immensely enjoyed reading this book. I recommend it to you."

--Nicholas Marks, CEO, Australian Institute of Family Counselling

"This book is a fascinating and compelling account of new responses to the age-old question 'How do we respond to human suffering?' Geldenhuys and Hill explore the emergence of technological rituals and spiritualities through the lens of Christian theology. They offer a vital, urgently needed new framework for spiritual care and counseling in the online world that leads to wholeness of life."

--Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor, University of Divinity

"The Soul Online provides phronesis, informed theological imagination, and serious engagement with current bereavement research and practice. Emerging from various theological and social science perspectives, The Soul Online provides innovative modalities for care that articulate possibilities, practices, and rituals that are ethical and efficacious. Most importantly, during times of grief and pain, The Soul Online enables pastors and other care professionals the resources to provide hope in a digital world."

--Tim Sensing, Associate Dean, Graduate School of Theology, Abilene Christian University

"This is a remarkable and cutting-edge book on how the digital world has transformed grieving experiences. . . . I highly recommend this book as a detailed road map for anyone who wishes to navigate the explosion of new ideas and grieving practices on social media. I count it as essential reading for chaplains, pastoral carers, and counselors."

--Art Wouters, Dean of Counseling, Stirling Theological College
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