Matters of Life and Death

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Digital church: Worship on Zoom, pandemic revival, time-shifting and Gnosticism

This episode explores one of the most significant and potentially long-lasting ways the covid pandemic has affected church life – the shift to digital. Ever since the first lockdown began almost a year ago, churches of every shape and size and from every denomination have been forced to offer worship online. And even though it has been legal to re-open buildings since last summer, most have continued to livestream, pre-record or video conference their way through the pandemic alongside some physical gathering. Will this continue indefinitely even when covid is long gone? Are we really seeing digital church spark a revival among non-churchgoers? And what implications for our worship and our theology does this brave new online world pose? 

More Episodes

1/22/2021

Social media and free speech: Fake news, Facebook's 'Supreme Court', the Capitol riot and YouTube algorithms

In today’s episode we’re taking a sideways step from the covid pandemic and instead are discussing social media and free speech.The banning of Donald Trump from every social media platform following the deadly riot earlier this month at the US Capitol building has prompted fierce debates, not only about free speech and censorship online, but also the role of social media in fostering hate and lies. Why is it that so much horrendous stuff accumulates and spills out of social media, from deranged conspiracy theories about coronavirus all the way up to the violent and often racist political rhetoric which inspired the Capitol insurrection? Do we need more regulation and moderation of what people are saying online, or less? What are the implications of unaccountable tech CEOs barring anyone they choose from the world’s dominant communications networks? And how should we, as Christians, think about the ethics of free speech and censorship in our always online 21st century world?Our previous episode on conspiracy theories and misinformation online about coronavirus - https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-misinformationResearch on the spread of false and true news online, published in Science - https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146'Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It', published in Scientific American - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/information-overload-helps-fake-news-spread-and-social-media-knows-it/