Along with the books Reading Theologically, and Thinking Theologically, which came out a few months earlier, Writing Theologically serves as a foundation for learning for those considering or engaging in graduate theological education. In fact, that’s what the series is called, “Foundations for Learning.”
My chapter is entitled, “Writing Digitally.” I’ll put a bit of it below, but really, you should just buy the book. I predict many beyond a seminary audience will appreciate the thoughtful, faithful, fruitful approach to writing it suggests. I finished it this week and give it a (biased) two thumbs up!
Writing Digitally | Adam J. Copeland
Students today write more than ever before, most of it mediated by digital technologies. Take, for example, a typical day in my life. This morning, my wife and I sent five text messages to one another to coordinate drinks with a friend after work. I participated in several conversations with colleagues on Facebook, both in private messages and on public walls where others joined. I sent four emails, one composed on my iPhone while walking down the hall. I typed my credit card number into a crowdfunding website then shared news of the project on several social media platforms. I checked my digital calendar and added several new appointments. I tweeted a few times with friends at a conference, and now, finally, I have closed down my web browser and opened Microsoft Word to work on this chapter. Today, I have written hundreds of words, few of which would be considered formal writing. I haven’t touched a pen or paper.
This chapter is meant for the technology savvy and technology averse alike. I do not believe that to succeed in graduate theological education one must join all the hippest social media networks, own the latest iGadget, and commune with computers. While digital awareness is an important component of many vocations today, not all are called to technological innovation. So, if you are worried that I am going to suggest that graduate theological education should require you to learn how to write in computer-programming language, you can rest easy (and focus on Greek and Hebrew instead).
My thesis in this chapter is twofold. First, graduate education today requires a certain amount of digital literacy. Becoming digitally literate requires you to pursue questions like: How are God’s people communicating today? On what platforms is digital writing occurring? When is technology mediating our lives? Digital literacy does not require you to be cognizant of every text-messaging acronym out there (OMG, no!), but it does warrant a basic understanding of how digital communication technologies affect our life together. Second, beyond achieving basic digital literacy, students pursuing graduate theological education should strive for digital wisdom. The cultivation of such wisdom along with theological, biblical, ecclesial, and pastoral forms of wisdom will help you gain capabilities for translation and communication in digital environments….
Footnote: For a book of essays considering the phrase “digital wisdom” see Marc Prensky, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2012)