Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era

Article excerpt

Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-media Era. By Clint Schnekloth. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-4514-7229-5. xv and 135 pages. Paper. $20.60.

Mediating Faith is the published D.Min. dissertation (Fuller Seminary) of Clint Schnekloth, who is an ordained pastor in the ELCA, an online blogger, and an unofficial expert on digital social media and ministry. The book has a foreword by Will Willimon and praise from several authors, and for good reason: it asks important philosophical questions in an informed manner about the use of emerging media for ministry.

Schnekloth challenges the common contradistinction between "the real" and "the virtual," since media forms are constantly evolving and layering (e.g., screen images), without necessarily abandoning earlier forms (e.g., books). He addresses three common critiques of using emerging media in ministry: they create distraction, foster hope in technological progress, and isolate. Using interesting observations from studies of photography, the catechumenate, role-playing video games, and social digital ministry, Schnekloth argues that new forms of media may enhance faith formation in ways frequently overlooked. Finally, in response to the critiques named earlier, Schnekloth proposes that emerging media may contribute positively on three related fronts: they may create beauty and justice in the world, they foster spaces for Spirit-centered cultures of possibility, and they open up doors for "leading connectively" in unprecedented ways. …

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