New Media Communications 2.0: A Great Good Place for the Theological Community
Online Venture in Web Theology Research
It is the coolest thing going. Online communications. Web sites. This wide open, unprecedented forum for ideas and expression. More people than ever before can be publishers.
This set of linked documents will seek to address several issues as they relate to how the Church can express itself and be experienced in Cyberspace. I believe there are several ways in which Computer Mediated Communications can greatly enhance both business and personal communications. The latter is particularly dear to me. I have a "testimony" to give about what I have experienced as "Cyberchurch" in a time when I feel the local expressions of church have let me down. I haven't been in great need of seeking out some local expression because I have found such voice, such personal connection, and such new confidence in what I have to say as a theologian in my own right, that I have been drawn to do work online, and do ministry online as a kind of ambassador for Cyberchurch.
I am also in the process of working on a Doctor of Ministry degree online. It is being provided as a program of United Theological Seminary's Distance Education program. We have completed our Phase one, where we prepare a spiritual autobiography based on our ministry leadership experiences. We then provide a description of the "Context of ministry" in which we see ourselves. Mine was difficult to describe, because little has been written about it. Of course, I am talking about the world of Online Communications. I began writing about it in a newsletter I which I originally intended for print distribution, but is now taking shape online on the Ecunet system, and most recently, on this World Wide Web site. I attempted to give a description of the world of possibilities I see in my presentation to my online Dmin peers, who are scattered across the United States.
We also prepared a "Synergy" paper in which we described the various points of intersection between our ministry experiences and the context in which we see ourselves. So I described a world emerging which is bringing together several interests and experiences I have had in theological training, technological knowledge, and communications studies.
The next step, Phase Two, is where I treat the Theological Foundations of what I am doing. This document is the beginning of that. I am going to do my work before the world, in a sense. As I write and interact with my colleagues, I will be posting here at this site what I am writing, and where permission is granted, I will also include the mail message responses of my peers in online study. There are at least two programs I am seeking to get a handle on which will create interlinked, hypertext Web documents out of mail archives. As soon as I have mastered one of these processes enough to provide this functionality, I will include it as part of this process.
So if you wish to journey with me in this learning, I will be proceeding on with my project, which is building a World Wide Web of theological connections, which several have already begun to do, but I am one piece of it. My task is to enable effective and widespread use of Computer Mediated Communications, in any way I can, whether that be in creating new HTML documents, inviting various theological resources to share information at my site or to link to each other's, or writing and Net-publishing about my discoveries and impressions of the possibilities for us in this new frontier.
Mail me comments, suggestions, warnings, flames, whatever This site maintained and researched by Dale Lature, Lavergne, TN