Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review of When Religion Meets New Media

Today I came across a review of my new book When Religion Meets New Media that appeared this month in Communication Research Trends, a quarterly journal focused on state of the field and review essays on research related to media, religion and culture. I was pleasantly surprised to find this summary and assessment written by Claire Badaracco of Marquette University online, and honored by her description of my book stating...

Heidi Campbell examines how religions negotiate borders and the social and cultural    processes of meaning-making using new media technology. This work has advanced the field as Campbell makes a compelling case for her argument that a robust scholarly approach within the study of media, religion, and culture is needed as it applies to media technology. The author provides the rigorous, comprehensive level of analysis grounding her discussion in the history and traditions of the community as determinative of the currency and wisdom informing new media use, and how orthodox and fundamentalist believers' "core values" (p. 88) contextualize their uses of new media.

To read the full review which provides a detailed description of the book's contents check out this link.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Considering Inter-Religious Dialogue Online

Over the past decade there has been continued debate as to whether the internet simply encourages communities of consensus or can be used to bridge communication gaps and encourage diverse and heterogenous relations.  The Huffington Post engaged these issues recently  in an article entitled Cyber Dialogue: The Future of Interreligious Engagement. In it the author stress how social networking sites help to religious communities communicate their messages internally and externally and asks to what extend can/do online forums encourage inter-religious dialogue. He sites successful examples such as Patheos.  Othe notable examples could be Children of Abraham  or Beliefnet.

Related to this a call has been issues for nominations and self-nominations for Contributing Scholars for a new blog, called State of Formation. The blog is sponsored by Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, in partnership with the Parliament of the World's Religions and seeks to engage religious and philosophical thinker on questions related to life in a religiously pluralistic society. The call goes out to young scholars and/or religious leaders  who are currently learning about and reflecting on religious and moral issues who see a unique opportunity for public dialogue and mentoring on issues related to inter-religious discourse. The program also offers travel grants. Apply here.