Conference ‘Call for Papers‘ (and yes, I am a day late, so no idea if it will considered or not)

iMass_RedName: Dr Bex Lewis, CODEC (Centre for Christian Communication in a Digital Age), Durham University

Paper Title: Engaging in Discipleship in a Digital Age

200 Word Abstract:

The ‘digital age’ brings the opportunity for a wider range of voices to contribute to conversations: many online will engage with “church” through their friends rather than formal Christian organisations. In 2010 “The BIGBible Project” emerged to encourage those at all levels of the Christian sector to engage with digital culture, and to consider what this means for Christian communication practices, in a culture in which messages are both ephemerally ‘in the now’, and perpetually available.

BIGBible emphasises that “disciples” live at all times for God, and therefore all Christians need to take seriously their presence both online and offline. The core definition of a disciple is given in John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (NRSV). How might this affect Christian behaviour online? This paper will draw from over 2,000 contributions made to the BIGBible site.

The paper will also consider how churches are moving from the broadcast, pew-focused and geographically localised ministry that has held sway for the last few centuries, and embracing a more social ministry, where to ‘love your neighbour’ may include those from another county (or even country), but also connects locally though hyper-local practice.

Required: PowerPoint projection

Likely Theme: Media, Public Life and Public Theology

Particularly inspired by: How established and emerging forms of media and mass communication shape the ways in which religious organizations and movements communicate with the wider public sphere


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