This episode of Social Media Church features a conversation with Dr. Tim Hutchings, currently a research fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University and editor of the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture. Tim discusses learnings and insights from rigorous academic research about online churches, what kind of people worship online, explores whether online relationships are real or not, and much much more.
Connect with Dr. Tim Hutchings on Twitter @tim_hutchings
Participate in Tim’s current project, CyberBibles: New Media and Sacred Text. If you’ve tried using digital media to help you read the Bible, please fill out this survey – and encourage your friends to do the same. This survey is part of a new research project that aims to find out how digital media are changing Christian attitudes to Scripture. If you have ever read the Bible on a computer screen, listened to it on your MP3 player, joined an online reading group or downloaded a Bible app to your mobile phone, fill out the survey. Learn more about this research project.
Tim contributes to the Big Bible Project blog, i.e. Cyberchurch Theology (part one of, um, more than one), Cyberchurch Theology, Part Two: The Problem With Community, How Not to do Online Evangelism
Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture – a free online publication
“Considering religious community through online churches” published in Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media Worlds by Heidi Campbell (Routledge, 2012) – features a case study of St. Pixels (Church on the Internet) and LifeChurch.tv
Creating Church Online: Ritual, Community, and New Media by Tim Hutchings – to be published May 2013 by Routledge, based on his Ph.D. research, an ethnographic study of five Christian communities that met online, using new media to create forms of worship, teaching, evangelism and debate. The study focused on ritual, authority, community and the relationship between online and offline activity.
“Creating Church Online: Networks and Collectives in Contemporary Christianity” (by Tim Hutchings) is published in “Digital Religion, Social Media and Culture: Perspectives, Practices and Futures”, ed. Pauline Hope Cheong, Peter Fischer-Nielsen, Stefan Gelfgren and Charles Ess (Peter Lang, 2012)
#excerpt Creating church online: A case-study approach to religious experience, in Studies in World Christianity 13(3) (2008)
Scholar’s Top 5: Tim Hutchings’ 5 recommended resources on the topic of online Christian churches
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