The Church in the Digital: Studying Church in New Media Culture
Symposium on Ecclesiology and Ethnography
13-14 May 2013
Saint Paul, MN
Over the past two decades we have seen the rise of much experimentation of using the Internet to facilitate different expressions of church life and ministry online, from cyberchurches to e-vangelism. Digital technologies are also increasingly being incorporated into worship environments, which have important theological implications for church liturgy, Christian community and identity. The Church in the Digital symposium seeks papers exploring the intersection between church practice and digital cultures that also offer theological reflection on these developments and trends. This symposium is part of the Ecclesiology and Ethnography network, which seeks to draw together scholars working with theologically orientated approaches to qualitative research on the Christian Church.Potential topics include…
– Best Practices for studying liturgy in Online Churches
– Forms of Technology integration in Worship Environments and their theological implications
– Motivations and impact of Social media strategies for ministry
– How technology shapes or reflects missional outlooks in Multi-Site Churches
– Ethical and theological responses to Digital Culture
– The role of digital media literacy in religious education
– Other topics will be considered
We encourage single and multi-authored papers that incorporate ethnographic methodologies and approaches to provide concrete reflection on the theological issues and challenges posed by the integration of digital technologies in church practice. Papers on other topics related to theological studies of ecclesial practices will be considered. Papers are to be circulate prior to the event to enhance conference conversations and interaction over work presented.
Established and emerging scholars as well as pastor/scholars working in church settings are welcome to propose papers. Proposals due: February 1. Abstract and title (no more than 500 words), along with contact information should be sent to Prof. Christian Scharen (firstname.lastname@example.org). Note: Our limited budget allows us to offer to cover conference food and lodging for those presenting papers; travel and other expenses must be sourced from home institutions or other sources.