Digital Religion Publications, an imprint of the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies, announces the publication of its sixth eBook. Revisiting the Distanced Church is a review of the ways that faith communities have engaged with and through technology.
This eBook provides a follow-up to the conversations begun by contributors from The Distanced Church eBook, which was published a year ago. That eBook captured and documented the reactions of pastors that were both overwhelmed by the forced move of the church online, as well as excited about the possibilities that digital media offered. Revisiting the Distanced Church features key authors from the original publication, along with new voices, each reflecting on what they have learned about the challenges and opportunities of doing church online during the pandemic. This new eBook gives leaders and scholars the chance to tell stories of their successes, missteps, and unexpected lessons learned while experimenting with digital media.
In Revisiting the Distanced Church, leaders share personal stories on how the pandemic has completely altered their lives and ministries. Many describe the pandemic as a wake-up call for the church and point to the need for deeper reflection on what online church could and should look like. The eBook also allows scholars to revisit the advice that they offered a year ago to reflect on what they got right, along with the unforeseen challenges of creating digital community that still remain. Overall, these essays reveal and emphasize that there is no going back to the exact same life and practice of the pre-pandemic church.
This collection is edited by Dr. Heidi A. Campbell, professor of communication at Texas A&M University and director of the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies. In 2020, the Network started Digital Religion Publications to provide cutting edge resources for religious groups and research reports aimed at Digital Religion scholars that highlight current research study findings. Specifically, this eBook seeks to provide insight into church leaders’ and scholars’ perspectives on the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on religious groups and communities.
After over 22,000 downloads of the original eBook, Revisiting the Distanced Church represents a promising follow-up that provides valuable perspectives on digital technology and its impact on religious communities during this period.
This edited collection is offered as a free eBook. It is available in both PDF and ePub versions online at: http://bit.ly/revisitchurch. All versions can be downloaded freely via The OakTrust Repository, hosted by Texas A&M University Libraries.