Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One more thing from NZ...the Church in Second Life

Today is my last day in NZ. It has been a great visit personally & research wise. I also learned this past week that the NZ Anglican Church has just set up an Anglican Cathedral of Second Life. I ran out of time to meet up with the virtual vicar/coordinator Mark Brown to learn more about the thinking and planning behind this but we have already arranged to meet up for an interview in Second Life in the near future. I knew someone would eventually do this, who knew it would be the kiwis!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Live in Auckland: Who's got the Power Online?

For anyone who is in the Auckland (NZ) and is interested I will be presenting some of my current research on how religious bloggers frame and present religious authority online in a seminar at 4pm on Wednesday, July 25 at the Bible College of New Zealand in the Henderson area. For more details drop me an email!

I am also giving the opening talk at the New Perspective in Science & Theology Conference at BCNZ this Friday entitled--The Technologized Other: Considering the Posthuman & Prophetic Technorealism.

And if you are in Christchurch, NZ you can check me out live on Saturday at a Special Seminar entitled: Building Christian Community: What the Internet can teach Offline Church.

Media and Religious Authority Colloquium

Today I participated in an interesting colloquium organized by Tim Bulkley on Media and Religious Authority at Carey Baptist College. It brought together researchers from New Zealand and Australia (via a skype connection) interested in exploring together how the media may shape or influence various aspects of religious authority. We shared our overlapping interests and potential projects that we might bring together in a joint project. I spoke about the findings from one of my current projects on how religious bloggers portray different aspects of religious authority online. Paul Teusner is exploring how Emerging Church bloggers responded to technorati or google blog authority ranking system. Ann Hardy is beginning to work Exclusive Brethren role in attempting influencing the NZ National Election and how religious groups may use media to influence the public sphere. Peter Horsfield is interested in the interaction of new media and religious authority in Australia. Stephen Garner is considering how religious authority is manifested in comic books & graphic novels. Tim Bulkley is interested in the role of textual authority in different religious environments and authority in the Biblio-blogger community online. I am looking forward to seeing how this collaboration develops.

Monday, July 23, 2007

ELaunch: Voices of the Virtual World

Announcing the official launch of Voices of the Virtual World.

This ebook explores the growing influence of technology on the global Christian church. In this premier volume, we hear from more than forty voices, including technologists and theologians, entrepreneurs and pastors… from a progressive Episcopalian techno-monk to a leading Mennonite professor… from a tech-savvy mobile missionary to a corporate anthropologist whom Worth Magazine calls "one of Wall Street's 25 Smartest Players." Voices is a far reaching exploration of spiritual journey contextualized within a culture of increasingly immersive technology.

ABOUT WIKIKLESIA: Conceived and established in May 2007, the Wikiklesia Project is an experiment in on-line collaborative publishing. The format is virtual, self-organizing, participatory - from purpose to publication in just a few weeks. All proceeds from the Wikiklesia Project will be contributed to the Not For Sale campaign.

“The Wikiklesia Project has garnered some of the savviest writers and bloggers around in a daring attempt to radically democratize knowledge ­ and in the process unleash theological reflection where it matters most: the public sphere. This is not just some new way to self publish; it is a new and exciting form of collaborative theologizing on critical topics that concern us all. Welcome to your future.”

- Alan Hirsch, Author of The Forgotten Ways as well as The Shaping of Things To Come (with Mike Frost) and Founding Director of Forge Mission Training Network

The e-book is on sale for $15 on Lulu.com. For more information check out Wikklesia.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Intern at Intel & look at spirituality and technology

This announcement just got posted on the Association of Internet Researchers email list, which is an interesting opportunity to explore spirituality and technology at Intel.

As part of Domestic Designs and Technologies Research - the ethnographic and design research team within the Digital Home Group - you will work within a multidisciplinary team of anthropologists, design researchers and documentary film makers to explore and research 'love and spirituality' and its intersection with computers and technology, in and around the home. DDTR is a driving force within the Digital Home Group (DHG): our charter is to develop a clear & actionable understanding of daily life all over the world, identify opportunities for our platforms to enable experiences that consumers value, merge original insights with technology, market, platform and planning intelligence to define usage models & platform requirements, and seed future research & platform opportunities. DHG's vision is to make Intel the trusted foundation of your digital home. To that end, the Digital Home Group develops computing and communications oriented platforms that anticipate and satisfy the needs of consumers world-wide.

We will be offering 3 month paid internships starting in October '07 and, for graduate students in anthropology, design research or relatedsocial sciences. Interns must re-locate to the Portland, Oregon area to work closely with the research team during the entire length of the internship, and be eligible to work in the US.

We are looking for individuals with experience in designing andconducting both qualitative and/or quantitative user or design research studies, including analysis of the resulting data. Candidates should prepare a concise yet thorough 3-5 page proposal to explore some aspect of love and spirituality and its intersection with computers andtechnology in and around the home; inclusion of how the proposed research fits with the candidate's own research interests (broadly defined) is a plus. Exact responsibilities of the position will be defined with the successful applicant based on the proposal you submit.

Please submit your proposal (3-5 pages, including bibliographic references) describing the research you'd like to do in this area over the course of your internship to http://uk.f272.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=francoise.bourdonnec@intel.com&YY=28575&y5beta=yes&y5beta=yes&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b.Applications (CV + proposal) must be received by July 31st for the October start date.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

PodBible: An experiment in MP3ing the Good Book

Tonight I got to meet Tim Bulkeley face-to-face. He is organizing a virtual theology colloquium while I am here in NZ on religion and authority which I am really looking forward. While chatting and getting acquainted I heard the story behind one of his many interesting projects, in this case the 'PodBible' project. In 2005 Tim gathered some 300 Kiwi volunteers who read portions of the Bible in shifts and over a weekend and provided a live streaming web cast of the whole Bible. The readings were also recorded and became the basis of the PodBible. The number of people downloading this recording continues to increase with the most frequent downloads coming from first the USA, then China and thirdly New Zealand. From antecedents he has been able to learn that reason for some of the Chinese downloads is due to users using the recordings to practice their English.

The PodBible recording is now being broken down into chapter segments, each being followed by recorded reflective "Think", "Share" & "Do" questions. The intentions is to provide a way for people to listen to the Bible over a year period through these podcasts.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

CFP: Religious Norms in Cyberspace

This conference may be of interest to for those doing work in religion online...


We cordially invite you to actively participate in the workshop 'Religious Norms in Cyberspace' which will take place at the international conference Cyberspace 2007 held in Brno, Czech republic,November 30 – December 1, 2007.

Illustrative topics: religious normative frameworks in cyberspace,networking diasporas, religious collaborative environments, on-line counseling, on-line fatwas and cyber muftis, new religious movements,religious discourses in cyberspace, methodology of online-religion research, rituals in cyberspace etc.

Abstract submission deadline: July 31, 2007. For further information about the conference, please visit the conference website:http://www.cyberspace.muni.cz/

Please submit your abstracts via conference website at http://www.cyberspace.muni.cz/english/register.php

Participants with accepted papers will receive free conference pass and free access to conference meals and social events. Accepted papers will be published in fully reviewed Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology.