What is it about?

In the past decade or so, social media has changed the way people communicate with one another. The emergence of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the like has also transformed the landscape of public space. Particularly, social media has blurred the public-private boundary. This makes the conventional strategy for explaining the public meaning of faith, which suggests translating the language of faith to a common language, dubious. This article proposes an alternative approach to make sense of religious faith in public space that emphasizes the transformative power of the language of faith. This may fit the age of social media better.

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Why is it important?

This article proposes a new approach for speaking faith publicly and transforms the understanding of the task of public theology—a movement and subdiscipline of theology that endeavours to make the Christian faith relevant to the public. This is important for public theology to adapt to the new context under the ubiquity of social media. Its findings provide an alternative conceptual framework informed by the latest development of digital and Internet technologies for subsequent work of public theology.


I hope this article inspires Christians—particular theologians—to share their perspective of public issues confidently and meaningfully. A binary view of the language of faith and the language of the public is no longer applicable to the world of social media. After all, what is the point of bringing in theology if its religious elements are to be cast away? We should show people what insights theology can bring and why these insights are indispensable.

Bryan K. M. Mok
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Public Theology in the Age of Social Media, International Journal of Public Theology, October 2021, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15697320-01530002.
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