Thursday, December 23, 2021

conference proposal: Missions in Digital Culture: A Transforming Shift

Missions in Digital Culture: A Transforming Shift
by Rev Dr Steve Taylor, AngelWings Ltd, Flinders University

IAMS 2022 conference paper proposal

The digital is a rapidly morphing field. Technology impacts our work and homes and changes health care, leisure, and religious practice. Digital missiology examines how mission intersects with the internet, digital culture, and other forms of digital technology. The IAMS conference themes – of power, inequalities, vulnerabilities – provide a valuable hermeneutical frame to overview the current state of research, assess the contributions, and consider future directions for research in digital missiology.

This paper aims to discern how digitalization is changing the methods and conditions of mission. Particular attention is given to empirical research and ethnographic studies of digital resourcing, including trans-national studies of ecclesial innovation in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the United States. These experiments in digital missions will be analysed missiologically. If, as Marshall McLuhan claims, the medium is the message, then how is the vulnerable Christ present as an animating presence in these digital experiences and networks? The analysis will include dialogue with two recent reappraisals of McLuhan by Douglas Coupland (2011)) and Nick Ripatrazone (2022), as part of a reappraisal of embodiment and participation, informing theologies by which mission might be understood as being re-contextualised for an emerging digital world

This work is part of a larger project seeking to re-theorise Bosch’s notion of paradigm shifts. While Bosch focused on paradigms, the argument is that transforming generativities occur in shifts rather than paradigms. Hence digital cultures offer significant resources for indwelling and embodying missio Dei as transforming shifts in mission.

Posted by steve at 06:31 PM

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