Cite: Schwarz, Praying with a Camera Phone

Ori Schwarz, "Praying with a camera phone: Mediation and transformation in Jewish rituals," Culture and Religion 11,3 (2010): 177-194.



Digital cameras are now intensively used by ordinary participants of Jewish mass rituals. The article explores how their introduction led to religious change and re-definition of sacred time/space. I first outline the development of new religious technologies-of-self, in which videos of mass rituals are used for mediated interaction with the sacred and for emotional, moral and spiritual management and self-disciplining. I then address the transformation of traditional rituals: seen as embodied motional and vocal performances, rituals are affected by the physical engagement with cameras, whereas photography is incorporated into ritual scripts as a ritual role.

Keywords: Judaism; photography; rituals; technologies-of-self; video

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