Religion 2.0 is the idea that religion is being updated to a linear style of organization, opposed to the classic hierarchical management. Many religious movements, and even business models are moving toward this style of direct participation by it’s members. (article) The importance of directly involving members, is empowerment, because people who feel empowered are more likely to have purpose and be active contributors to their community. Empowerment also leads to inclusion, because empowered people want other people to feel empowered, leading to a domino effect. (youtube how to start a movement, dancing guy) What we are talking about here is the feeling of God, Spirit, or Freedom people feel when they experience something so right, they can’t help but share the “good news”. Like the many people who rave about meditation, rainbow gathering, or an amazing music video, people want to share what makes them feel good.
Religion 2.0 also inspires people who do not already have a religion to establish belief systems from the ground up. Having a spiritual, or not spiritual community (whatever you want) is important to life and happiness. Whether the community is physical or online, the same applies. We need reassurance from peers that we are not crazy for feeling good about something, anything. What ever you believe, I am sure there is someone else out there that believes it too. I read an article some time ago about how the internet is connecting people all over the world, who before felt alone and alienated. Homosexuality was the main example given, through the internet, a community of homosexuals were able to connect and work together to fight for their rights. People being oppressed in the Middle East is another great example, through the internet they can connect with people who support their struggles, all over the world. The article claimed that a Jew in NYC may connect more to an atheist in Australia because of their similarity in music tastes, over the other Jews in their neighborhood.
One major realization likely to result from the transformation religion is going through is our bond to people we already live near. We probably have a lot more in common with our neighbors than we realize, but we are too distracted to take the time to find out. One facet of religion, especially the religions of Abraham, I would love to see more of, is the calm optimism and faith in life that allows one to sit back and relax sometimes. Heavens, we might even Bring Back the Sabbath Day.