Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Forums & Discussions

Online discussions of topics related to religion and spirituality are listed in this category. Such conversations often take place on Internet forums, which are also known as online forums, message boards, or discussion forums.

Some people may refer to them as bulletin board systems, as they are a technological evolution of the dialup Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) that existed before the Internet, some of which still exist.

Powered by a variety of proprietary or open source scripts, or sometimes hand-coded, an Internet forum allows people to carry on conversations in the form of posted messages. Similar to chat rooms, they differ in that messages are often longer and they are archived, often for as long as the forum is in existence, or for shorter periods of time, depending on the forum administrator.

The scripts that power Internet forums usually allow the forum several options for how forum discussions are displayed and, while there are some general rules that apply to most online forums, the forum administrator sets the policy for the forum, although some forums may be administered by an administrative board.

Depending on the script or the options chosen by the administrator, discussion forums are usually hierarchical (tree-like) in structure, and arranged by topic or by some other structure established by the forum administrator. Each topic forum might contain a number of sub-forums, each of which may themselves contain sub-forums. Within a forum's topic, each new discussion is known as a "thread," which can be replied to by anyone who is granted access.

Most Internet forums require participants to register with the forum and, in some cases, payment of a fee might be required for membership. Usually, a login is not required in order for someone to read existing messages, but it is usually required in order for a person to participate in forum discussions.

Online forums whose topics are religious in nature may be listed in this category, or in any subcategories that may be created later. These may include any of the topics contained within the Faith & Spirituality category, such as ancient religions, atheism and antitheism, church and state, cults, the paranormal, reincarnation, science and religion, spiritual entities, or any of the world religions: Abrahamic religions, Eastern religions, Esoteric religions, Pagan religions, secular humanism, or others that we may not yet have included.

These may include topics as broad as religion in general, as specific as the Benedictines, a Roman Catholic religious order, or something in between, such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.

However, a forum that is intended as a means of communication between member of a local church congregation should be listed in the Local & Global category representing the city or town where the church is located, as that forum would be local in nature. In other words, a forum whose topic is Baptist theology and practices may be listed here, while a forum developed for the Aberdeen First Baptist Church in Aberdeen, North Carolina should be listed in the appropriate Aberdeen category within the Local & Global tree. If or when this category becomes too large, the listings will be separated by topic into subcategories.



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