Theology after Google -- closing thoughts
It has been a great three days, sharing together at Theology after Google in a conversation about how the internet and other technologies are driving our faith conversations and practices. The project was born of Philip Clayton's desire to see the theological conversation become more democratized. Philip was aided in this venture by a number of people, but especially Tripp Fuller and Tony Jones. I appreciate the efforts of all involved -- from the grad students who ferried us around to the presenters and on to the rest of the participants. I'm greatly appreciative of the invitation and the good care taken of me while at the conference!
We focused our attention in the conference on the the technologies than on the theology in the conversation. We talked social networking, blogging, film, podcasts and more. We were pressed to consider whether the current structures, whether the Academy and the church as we know it, are going to be useful in the future to transform the world. In my own presentation I offered a cautionary note, reminding the community that we need to remember those who came before us (and some who live now) who have lived faithfully and pass on to us a legacy of faith. Must all change? That is my question!
One of the observations that came at the end of the day concerned the lack of diversity among the presenters. Most of us are white males. That may be due in part to our dominance of the blogosphere, but we are pushed to consider how to expand the conversation partners. If we're going to democratize the conversation, it needs to be more than inviting white lay folk into the conversation.
All in all, it was a great conference, but one that requires a lot of thought as to where the conversation goes next. So we begin the journey into the unknown -- seeking to understand what it means to live theologically in the shadow of Google!