Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

ICT and religious tradition: the case of Mount Athos

By Pavlo Tanasyuk and Chrisanthi Avgerou


ICT is understood to be closely associated with the shaping of late modernity. It constitutes one of its fundamental and distinctive features and is a product of its socio-economic institutions. Yet, it is increasingly taken up by traditional communities. The core question of this paper is whether the encounter of ICTs with cultures that have not embraced the values and ways of life of modernity gives rise to alternative perceptions and enactments of socio-technical ensembles. Do traditional communities disentangle the ICT artefact from the institutional context of modernity and appropriate it in their own culture and social order? Is there a potential fusion of ICT with non-modern cultures that leads to transformative effects of either the endogenous culture or the taken-for-granted ‘modern’ meaning of ICT value? Or is the take up of ICT, loaded with the meanings and values it inherited in its context of modernity, just eroding traditional culture and bringing them closer to modernity? We address such questions by exploring the meanings and consequences of ICT in the community of monasteries on Mount Athos that was established in Byzantine times and remained largely isolated from most institutions of modernity. This is an early stage in what we intend to make a longitudinal research, and not surprisingly, our findings at this stage are inconclusive. We found a mix of attitudes and ICT-related practices among the monks and different attitudes towards the information processing/storage and the communication functions of ICT. But overall, adoption of ICTs is increasing on Mount Athos and we identify areas in which potential changes are under way and which merit further research

Topics: BR Christianity, T Technology (General)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

Suggested articles


  1. (1995). Alternative modernity. The Technical Turn in Philosophy and Social Theory. Berkeley and Los Angeles, doi
  2. (2006). Athonian Economy. doi
  3. (1960). Athos: The Mountain of Silence. London, doi
  4. (1993). Can Traditional and Modern Values Coexist?" in Yang, K.S."Chinese Value: A Social Science Viewpoint",
  5. (1993). Childhood and Society. doi
  6. (2003). Critique of the Methodology of Empirical Research on Individual Modernity in Taiwan." doi
  7. (2000). Culture in the Communication Age (Comedia). doi
  8. (2007). Culture-on-Demand: Communication in a Crisis World. doi
  9. (1958). From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. doi
  10. (1992). Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture, doi
  11. (1998). Globalization: The Human Consequences. Cambridge,
  12. (1998). Hackers: Masters of Modernity and Modern Technology" in Sefton-Green, J. "Digital Diversions: Youth Culture in the Age of Multimedia (Media, Education and Culture)", Routledge,
  13. (2006). Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory. doi
  14. (2004). Identity. Conversations with Benedetto Vecchi. Cambridge, doi
  15. (2000). Liquid Modernity. doi
  16. (2008). Making Digital Cultures: Access, Interactivity, and Authenticity, doi
  17. (1992). Modern Times. The Technology Connection and its Implications for Social Theory. " doi
  18. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge, doi
  19. (2003). Modernity and Technology. doi
  20. (2005). Modernity at Large. Cultural Dimensions of Globalizzations. London,
  21. (2000). Monocultural and cross-cultural indigenous approaches: The royal road to the development of a balanced global psychology." doi
  22. (2002). Mount Athos. Renewal in Paradise. New Haven and London, doi
  23. (1992). Postmetaphysical Thinking, doi
  24. (2005). Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implications of Europeanization. doi
  25. (2008). Risk Society. Towards a New Modernity. doi
  26. (1982). Sociology: A Brief but Critical Introduction. doi
  27. (1990). The Condition of Postmodernity. doi
  28. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge, doi
  29. (1987). The World in Creolisation." doi
  30. (1999). Towards an Indigenous Chinese Psychology: A Selective Review of Methodological, Theoretical, and Empirical Accomplishments."
  31. (1984). What is Enlightenment ?" ("Qu'est-ce que les Lumières ?") in Rabinow, P. "The Foucault Reader", doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.