Media and Christian Theology

While most theologies recognise culture as one of the factors informing theological thinking, few see media as an important part of culture and therefore irrelevant to the process of theology. In my experience, most theologians see media from an instrumental perspective – that is, media are simply ways of communicating a message once theologians determine what the  meaning of the faith or revelation is. But theologies themselves are mediated phenomena. They take shape in particular media forms (generally writing) and in the process are influenced by the technological, social, political and economic processes of the medium in which they are being created. The following writings reflect different aspects of this perspective.


(2017) “Christianity.”
In K. B. Jensen, R. Craig, J. Pooley, & E. Rothenbuhler (Eds.), International encyclopedia of communication and philosophy. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

(2012) “‘A moderate diversity of books?’ The challenge of new media to the practice of Christian theology.”
In P. Hope Cheong, P. Fischer-Nelson, S. Gelfgren, & C. Ess (Eds.), Digital religion, social media and culture: perspectives, practices and futures (pp. 243-258). New York: Peter Lang.

(2011) “Literacy, writing and branding: Media and the episcopal takeover of Christianity.”
Presentation to the Communication Commons Seminar, Monash University, 2nd May.

(2011) “Christianity as material and virtual reality.” 
Studies in World Christianity, 17 (2), ix-xvi.

(2009) ” The language of media and the language of faith.”
In H. Geybels, S. Mels, & M. Walrave (Eds.), Faith and the media: analysis of faith and the media: representation and communication. Bruxelles: P.I.E. Peter Lang, pp. 23-35.

(2009)  “What is it about the book? Touching and being touched by the Word of God.”
Paper presented to the Global Seminar on “Sensations: Religious mediations and the formation of identities,” Accra, Ghana 15-18 August, 2009

(2005). “Theology as a virtualising enterprise.” 
Colloquium, 37 (2), 131-142.

(2004) Theology, church and media: Contours in a changing cultural terrain.
In P. G. Horsfield, M. E. Hess, & A. M. Medrano (Eds.), Belief in media: Cultural perspectives on media and Christianity. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 23-32.

(2003) The ethics of virtual reality: the digital and its predecessors.
Media Development, XLX (2), 48-59.

(1989) “Teaching theology in a new cultural environment.”
Media Development, Congress Issue, October 1989, pp.6-9
Reprinted in C. Arthur (Ed.), Religion and the media: An introductory reader. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1993.
Reprinted in P. Lee (Ed.), Renewing communication and mission. London: World Association for Christian Communication, 1996, pp. 23-32.