Cognitive Anthropology, Roy Wallis and Cyber Believers: The Application of the Taxonomy Concept to Three Orthodox Websites

  • Đorđe Stojanović PhD Candidate at Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
cognitive anthropology, religion on the internet, Roy Wallis, taxonomies, networked religion, classification of religious groups, anthropology of the internet


When the internet appeared, both scientists and non-scientists discussed whether it was liberating the media and whether it was going to be transformed into a safe zone for the expression of free opinion. The answer to this question might be found within the cognitive anthropology concept of taxonomies. The etic taxonomy classification of religions (both in the online and/or offline worlds) has existed for a very long time. Still, the question of emic taxonomy remains. In other words, do cyber believers themselves perceive the internet as a place where they can express religious ideas that they could not do in their offline religious communities and connect with people who share the same/similar worldview? The goal of this paper is to answer the question of whether the scientific taxonomy and folk taxonomy (one of the religious cyber influencers chosen as a sample) converge or whether they differ and, in case they differ, whether the internet gives them the opportunity for free expression and making communities. Roy Wallis has been chosen as an example of scientific taxonomy, since his main criterion for classification is precisely the relationship of religious groups towards society (in this case, the mainstream discourse of both Serbian society and the Serbian Orthodox Church).


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How to Cite
Stojanović, Đorđe. 2021. “Cognitive Anthropology, Roy Wallis and Cyber Believers: The Application of the Taxonomy Concept to Three Orthodox Websites”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 16 (2), 549–574.