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The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts,…
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The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops… (vuoden 2011 painos)

– tekijä: Brandon Vogt (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
612344,932 (4.14)1
We'er experiencing the biggest communication shift since the printing press. Millions have adopted Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and Twitter. What does this mean for the Church? How can Christians harness these new tools to reach out, teach, cultivate community, and change the world? Following Pope Benedict's call to evangelize the "digital continent", The Church and New Media explores the power and risks of New Media, while guiding Christians through this new environment. Book jacket.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:benjaminmueller-com
Teoksen nimi:The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet
Kirjailijat:Brandon Vogt (Tekijä)
Info:Our Sunday Visitor (2011), Edition: Illustrated, 208 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet (tekijä: Brandon Vogt)

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There was a time...when long distance phone calls meant very good or very bad news. Ambitious boys on bicycles brought a newspaper to your front door seven days a week. And the bulletin that the church usher pressed into your hand on Sunday morning was typed and mimeographed by the church secretary on Friday afternoon. That time wasn’t that long ago - I certainly remember it. That was then. And the misfortune for many Christians who believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ is that their attitude is still essentially stuck in that era.

Brandon Vogt has authored a wonderful compendium The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet that should be on everyone’s reading list, and furthermore should receive wide distribution among parishes to reassure and nudge those who are furthering the mission of the Church with one (or maybe both) feet stuck somewhere in the early 1960’s.

I have considered myself something of an “early adopter” in these areas. (Mommy convert homeschool blogger since August 2002. Tempus fugit!) But when I was told about the first of Fr. Barron’s YouTube videos my immediate reply was, “YouTube? Isn’t that the home for shaky videos of teenagers doing JackAss style skateboard stunts?” We all need a nudge sometimes. And this book has something for everyone, no matter where they fall on the ‘tech savvy’ continuum. [FULL DISCLOSURE: My friends of a certain age think I am a pretty hip, with-it, groovy and forward thinking girl. I am also someone who, within the past year or so, asked her children if it was possible to send a text message from a regular old desk phone. Think continuum . . .]

The Church is a gerontocracy. Which is a good thing and we should all hope to grow in age, grace and wisdom. But along with wisdom, we acquire an accretion of outmoded concepts and strategies. Contentment and/or fear holds us back and keeps us from utilizing the gifts at our disposal. Helping to dispel this fear, this book has salient quotes from Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. [“Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea, facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for two thousand years . . .” Pope Benedict XVI]

The table of contents here is something of an ‘old home week’ for anyone who has some connection with New Media in this new century and a chance to learn more and expand horizons. For those who are not familiar with the varieties of New Media, Vogt gives a panoramic view of all that is at our disposal. And the downside of these new tools is not glossed over. Tools can be used for good or bad. Vogt realistically addresses the pitfalls of shallow relationships, information overload, increased narcissism, online relativism and the obstacles to prayer and contemplation. But he offers so many examples of the good that can be done utilizing New Media that it is quite obvious that the abuse of technology does not negate its use. Wonderful tools are at the Church’s disposal. The more impetuous would say that it is time for those with too much of an attachment to old media to “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” But here I must paraphrase a line from a favorite movie: “you're not supposed to choose ‘get out of the way.’ You should be leading - or at least following.”

I remember my parents talking about Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s TV appearances – which (while rather depressing in the way it shows my age) is quite impressive considering the my family’s lack of religiosity in my younger years. Here was someone from a different religion (religion, period!) capturing their attention and sharing the message of the Good News. As the cause Archbishop Sheen’s canonization progresses, I would propose that he someday be the patron saint of “early adopters” - those Christians who are ready to give new technological blessings a chance to bring Jesus to the world. As Fr. Barron said in the Summer 2011 edition of Extension Magazine, “Archbishop Fulton Sheen would have given his right arm to have what we have now in terms of technology.”

The Church and New Media is good news for those who want to share the Good News. Get it. Read it. (yes, you can get it on your Kindle) Check out its accompanying website. And please pass the word along to those who think the new media is a scary concept and useful for little more than Facebook stalkers, Nigerian scammers and “Keyboard Cats.” ( )
  ellynv | Aug 29, 2011 |
I'll get to the bottom line first: Brandon Vogt has edited one of the most important books on Catholics in the online world -- not so much because of its ruminations on the Church's understanding of social communications; not because it shows how to set up a blog or Facebook page (it would quickly be out of date if it tried to to that); but because The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet will inspire a whole new wave of Catholic innovation, experimentation, and expansion in the digital continent.

Vogt is convinced that the Church will need to embrace new media just as she came to embrace print, radio, and television. He opens the book by posing these questions:

"The world is waiting and listening in the virtual sphere. Will the Church remain silent, or will her voice be proclaimed fromthe rooftops (and the laptops)? Will she plunge the message of Christ into Facebook feeds, blog posts, podcasts, and text messages, or will she be digitally impotent?"

Vogt's leaves the answers to his contributors, a veritable Who's Who of the Catholic online world including Fr. Robert Barron, Mark Shea, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Lisa Hendey, and Thomas Peters, among others. Each contributor offers a reflection on some aspect of the online apostolate, from dialoguing on blogs to reaching specific audiences; creating communities to using new media in the parish.

Fr. Longenecker's chapter on the new apologetics is especially good. Fr. Longenecker outlines his general approach to blogging on online discourse, which could be described as generous, demonstrative, and welcoming. I was really taken with this passage:

"...I am not convinced that many souls are won by argument. It is famously said about apologetics that you can win an argument and lose a soul. The apologetics on my blog are woven into a much bigger picture of Catholicism. I want the reader to glimpse the power and the glory of the Catholic Church, but I also want them to glimpse the humanity and humor of being Catholic. In other words, I want them to glimpse the art of being Catholic — not just the argument for being Catholic."

If I could, I would copy this passage and have every Catholic blogger keep it taped to their computer screen.

In fact, this is a recurring theme in the book: it's not enough to set up a blog and start explaining why the Church is correct and everyone else is going to hell. Blogs, Facebook, Google+, Twitter -- they're all about community and relationship, and nurturing those two things is a vital component to apologetics, evangelization, and catechesis.

I'm grateful that Vogt has chosen to highlight the work of other Catholics in sidebars scattered throughout the book -- and not just because I'm one of them! These sidebars serve to expand on and illustrate the concepts and stories presented in the chapters and offer another avenue for Catholics to discover the richness and possibilities for living the faith on the digital continent.

Vogt has also set up a great website at www.churchandnewmedia.com. In addition to the usual promotional materials and blog, the site also includes a great list of resources -- including how-tos and videos -- for anyone who may be interested in dipping their toes into the online media world.

The Church and New Media is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about how the Church utilizes these new technologies to continue its work in the world. I look forward to seeing what the "next generation" of online Catholic leaders, inspired by the book's contributors, brings to the table. ( )
  sullijo | Jul 16, 2011 |
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We'er experiencing the biggest communication shift since the printing press. Millions have adopted Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and Twitter. What does this mean for the Church? How can Christians harness these new tools to reach out, teach, cultivate community, and change the world? Following Pope Benedict's call to evangelize the "digital continent", The Church and New Media explores the power and risks of New Media, while guiding Christians through this new environment. Book jacket.

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