New religious order

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The Independent Culture
The Web is no respecter of size or reputation. This holds true for religion also, where the theological Goliaths must constantly engage in cyber-battle with their Davids. So, with the proliferation of esoteric faiths on the Web, how do the big boys of world religion - Catholicism, Islam and Judaism - shape up?

Though I'm sure it's perfectly competent, the Vatican's web site proved nigh impenetrable when I visited ( Clad in a nasty marble- effect finish, it was slow and only accessible in the German-language version. Catholic.Org is far perkier. With, amongst other features, a news service, a historical resource, a forum and a free e-mail service, the site as a whole demonstrates an ease with the Web. And did you know that St Isidore is the patron saint of Internet users?

Though it may also be a little rough around the edges, Islam City at least presents a glitzier image of the faith ( There are community, business and cultural links here, but it isn't the place to study the Koran - for that visit the Al-Islam site (

As for Judaism, Virtual Jerusalem is a news site catching Israel's heady mix of politics and religion. The Jewish World Review does much the same on an international basis (www.jewishworldreview. com). For a formal history of Judaism, you might try the Documents of Jewish Belief site, which unfortunately is as dry as it sounds (


Occasionally it strikes you that the Web ought to provide a perfect stage for a specific phenomenon. For instance, post-modernism should be right at home with the Web's potential for playful irreverence. Surprisingly though, no sites dealing with post-modernism seem to make use of this promise. This isn't to say that there aren't hundreds of serious, academic sites dedicated to the philosophy. For example, "Towards a Moderate Post- modernism"is an earnest attempt to come to a definition of the subject ( A bit less daunting, though, is the collection of sites at (above). Everything Post-Modern details all manner of resources for po-mo's major voices. The higgledy-piggledy arrangement of sites also includes the light-hearted Post-Modern Saloon, which has a quiz and a newsletter.