Chester 2013

The word and the world: public theology in an age of global media

University of Chester, United Kingdom
2-6 September 2013

Chester Cathedral, UK.

The theme of the 3rd triennial consultation, held at the Riverside Innovation Centre at the University of Chester, focused on the extent to which media, information and communication technologies now represents a new, largely autonomous, ‘public’ sphere with global reach and an increasingly influential (and not necessarily benign) role to play in mediating religious and spiritual concerns and representing religion to a wider public.

Contributions explored the ways in which electronic media function as powerful means for religious organizations to mediate their presence and message into wider society; the ethical and theological dimensions of the production and consumption of media and popular culture; media, citizenship and religious literacy; the impact of globalisation on practices of communication; and how new forms of broad­cast, network and social media affect practices of faith amongst global diasporas.

Keynote speakers included Jolyon Mitchell (University of Edinburgh), Josue Reichow (Escola Superior de Teologia, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil) and Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University, UK).

Short papers were presented within themed sessions on: media, public life and public theology; theological sources and resources for public theology; and Globalization.

Conference participants travelled 60km to Salford, in Greater Manchester, to visit MediaCity, a regenerated dockland site which is now home to many of the UK’s major broadcasters and associated media industries.  A panel of church leaders and media professionals discussed a range of ethical and theological issues around media and religion.

A selection of conference proceedings was subsequently published in a special edition of the International Journal of Public Theology. ↗

Source: Kim, S. (2014). Editorial, International Journal of Public Theology8(1), 1-4. doi: