Saturday, March 31, 2007

Emerging Church in Orkney

I just returned from the Orkney Islands and 3 wonderful days learning about all things emerging, emergent and organic church related by picking the brain of postmodern pilgrim Andrew Jones. Andrew is a dynamic walking encyclopedia of the history of the emerging church movement, and I learned much by peppering him with questions while following him about his routine...including how to build a chicken coop and how to brew beer from ancient Orcadian Barley. He also pointed me to some interesting web sites related to the emerging church including emergent village and More information on emerging church to follow...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

UK Here I come...

Heidi has left the building...or the country as it were. I am off to the UK for a couple of weeks so will likely not be posting for a while due to sporadic email access while I am traveling. There are 2 aspects of my trip that directly relate to this blog.

First, I will venturing to the very north of the British Isles to the wind swept Orkney Islands to spend time with Andrew Jones, an avid blogger and expert on the emerging Church movement.

Second, I will be attending a conference in Oxford entitled Religion, Media and Culture: Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age which is co-sponsored by the the British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion study group and the UK Research Network for Theology, Religion and Popular Culture. I will be co-presenting a paper with my friend and colleague Pete Ward from King's College-London on an ethnographic research project looking at the role music plays in Evangelical worship/prayer meetings. This paper is part of a larger project which Gordon Lynch is also a part of, studying the construction of Evangelical identity and discourse by Scottish youth within public prayer meetings.

Will let you know how things went when I return...

Hey, there's religion in my music?!

I'm continuing to search out new forms of religious expression popping up in popular culture. The last few weeks I have I spent a bit of time exploring emerging genres of religious music, especially related to Islam and Judaism. Contemporary Religious Music has facinated me since my stint as DJ at a Christian Radio station back in the early 1990s. Now I have discovered the wonders Muslim Hip Hop and Jewish Rock.

A great web site for a quick introduction to Muslim, Hip Hop and contemporary Nasheed is; I recommend checking out the music of Danish group Outlandish or New York native Miss Undastood. I am also anxiously awaiting the arrival of a recent CD purchase The So Called Seder: A Hip Hop Haggadah to add to my growing collection of Jewish pop music. For an introduction into Jewish Rockers, religious and not so religious, check out and for fun test your knowledge of with the "Jew or Not?".

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Christian Bloggers Survey

An interesting survey on Christian Bloggers has just released its results. The 2007 Christian Bloggers Survey was conducted by Cory Miller of ChurchCommunicationsPro
in partnership with Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox recieved much hype on a variety of Christian blog sites while the study was being conducted during January 2007. In some econversations with Miller he described the survey as an attempt to "at a rough estimate at the "Christian" blogosphere...and give some general observations " (personal communication, 1 March 2007).

The snowball sampling method counducted "word of mouth" via Miller's site and Rick Warren's meant the population surveyed was somewhat self-selecting, which might account for the high percentage of Pastor and male respondents. Still it managed to offer important insights into the some dominant characteristics Christian blogging including the most popular platforms (Blogger & WordPress), primary age range (Gen Xers, 31-40) and lenght of blogging (most under 2 years, highlighting it as a recent trend). This exploratory study has helped me frame my own current project on how religious identity and authority is framed in religious blogs, a content analysis study I am currently overseeing here at TAMU.