Porticus presentation

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Porticus presentation

  1. 1. Emerging church bloggers in Australia:Prophets, priests and rulers in God’s virtual world<br />Paul Emerson Teusner<br />
  2. 2. Why ask?<br />YouTube disgrace of Melbourne priest<br />Web 2.0 promises:<br />Parliament on religious symbols, practices and structures<br />Reconstruction of religious community and participation<br />Shift in the boundary between public and private<br />Reshaping patterns of production, distribution and consumption of religious text (information, cultural goods, shared knowledge<br />
  3. 3. Ask what?<br />How do those involved in the emerging church conversation use blogging technology to construct individual and communal online religious identities?<br />
  4. 4. Conceptual framework<br />
  5. 5. Three levels of exploration<br />Discursive tensions in identifying the emerging church<br />Changing patterns of interaction and self-presentation<br />Negotiating the paradoxes of religion in the blogosphere<br />
  6. 6. Discursive construction of identity<br />
  7. 7. Semiotic cycles<br />
  8. 8. Changing nexus<br />
  9. 9. Paradox 1: Cyborg<br />What does it mean to talk of belief in, and to behave in response to, incarnational theology in a place where bloggers do not take their bodies?<br />Cyberspace is not a place where the Cyborg goes to and returns from every once in a while, but exists permanently within his or her reach in everyday life.<br />Cyberspace is one setting among all the others in a Cyborg’s real life where interaction occurs.<br />All settings are virtual.<br />
  10. 10. Paradox 2: Network<br />Bloggers like to see themselves at the edge of bounded communities, and the emerging church online<br />So while they seek to determine what emerging church is, they repel notions that they would speak on its behalf, or even belong to it<br />Bloggers challenge any attempt by outsiders to define them<br />Rather see themselves as small nodes in a larger network that is fluid and unbounded<br />
  11. 11. Paradox 3: Authority<br />Wish to assert that contemporary religious discourse excludes women, young people, lay people, cultural minorities<br />Their emphasis on writing, and their values on what makes for good blogging excludes many people<br />
  12. 12. Paradox 4: Glocal<br />Fiercely defend themselves against global definitions of who they are<br />Repel notions of establishing a national network<br />Seek to be “glocal” – drawing resources from global network to work in local contexts<br />
  13. 13. In context of wider debates<br />Bloggers seek continuity of offline identity, in their desire to create an authentic space, and a place to explore religion as a whole<br />Network that is more strongly connected to offline networks and communities of practice, than to idea of an emerging church blogosphere as a whole<br />“More of the same” when it comes to promises of Web 2.0<br />Bloggers are aware of constraints to equal voices, but are themselves constrained by the medium<br />
  14. 14. Conclusion<br />Blogosphere seen as a place of safety, risk and authenticity, but an incomplete connection<br />Blogosphere offers this through the development of online symbolic/discursive practices<br />While old authority structures are called into question, the medium favours writing. Therefore the technorati are the literati.<br />Emerging church bloggers represent:<br />Debates about the culture wars of secularisation and deprivatisation<br />The place of orthodoxy in pluralism<br />The “left-right” dichotomy of public religion<br />Tensions between belonging to fixed church communities and fluid religious networks and movements<br />

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