Thursday, January 20, 2011

"The Canon After Google"

The Fall 2010 issue of The Princeton Theological Review is now out and available online (pdf).

The theme is "The Church after Google," and it asks the question, "What issues should the church consider as it proclaims the gospel in a new technological climate of Google, the iPad, and Facebook?"

There is some great and thoughtful content in this issue, and also a few good word plays (like Brett McCracken's "The Separation between Church and Status").

My meager contribution is, "The Canon after Google: Implications of a Digitized and Destabilized Codex."

I begin by noting that "one issue the church would do well to consider as it proclaims 'the old, old story' in a world saturated by new media is the effect of this climate on its central text. Indeed, there is a pressing need for the church to think strategically about the way it protects and proclaims the biblical canon."

In the rest of the brief article, I note that two important effects of the move from "text to hypertext" in general are the digitization and destabilization of the book form. For those reading the biblical text in social media and online contexts, these effects represent a series of interesting challenges.

Among other possibilities, my suggestion is that "one of the ways the church can maintain the integrity of biblical unity" in the fragmented world of new media "is by encouraging and equipping believers to develop an intentional canon consciousness."

I also mention LOST, make two allusions to the Odyssey (kudos if you find them), and at one point muster a 61 word sentence.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more of the text here soon. In the meantime (and if this summary hasn't bored you out of your mind), the article is on pp. 39-42 (pdf).

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