Connecting Media Theory to Theological Reflection
Ability to critically reflect on new media theory and practice from a theological point of view and on religious belief and practice from a media studies point of view. A “synthetic” literacy of interdisciplinary connection and application.
Research Interview Excerpts
What did the experts say?
“We are aware that social media is influencing theological discussion. The big change is that more people feel empowered to be doing theological reflection. As I tell the students, every believer does theological reflection. You may not call it that, but you’re doing it. You’re asking yourself, ‘How do I believe this or what does this mean?’ Some people are professionally trained at that. The difficulty with that is they become almost too narrow.”
“I go through the media studies with them and say, now if you have just taken their primary communication tool away from them [youth], even if that’s the right thing to do, what is happening here? … I think for me I want to get students into the complexity of these issues both from the lived experience of the people showing up in their ministries as well as them as leaders making choices about how they will engage them.”
“They haven’t had the opportunity nor have they been pushed necessarily to think about some of the theology behind what they’re doing.”
REAL WORLD EXAMPLES
Networked TheologyMedia studies scholar Heidi Campbell teams up with theologian Stephen Garner for a book-length reflection on “negotiating faith in digital culture.”
The Digital CathedralKeith Anderson establishes and illustrates the metaphor of the medieval cathedral as a model of networked ministry.