We’re on our phones and laptops constantly, and we talk about how technology is all around us–but what is it? Is it about our devices or something deeper? On this episode Jeff and Emily talk to sociologist Felicia Wu Song and theologian David Gill about technology, and how it shapes what it means to be a human being in the world–especially as we relate to others.
Felicia Wu Song is Professor of Sociology at Westmont College and a cultural sociologist who studies the place of digital technologies in contemporary life. She is the author of Restless Devices: Recovering Personhood, Presence and Place in the Digital Age and Virtual Communities: Bowling Alone, Online Together.
David W. Gill is a writer and speaker based in his hometown, Oakland. California. He recently retired from the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton and Boston, Massachusetts, where he served as Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology & Business Ethics and Director of the Mockler Center for Faith & Ethics in the Workplace. He is the author of many books including Becoming Good: Building Moral Character and Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles.
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.