Christianity Today has just published an article of mine, which follows up certain themes from my earlier post ‘A Lament for Google Reader’.
Both the passing of the hard-bound Encyclopædia Britannica and of Google Reader represent milestones in the digital age. They remind us that reading and our engagement with texts aren’t static realities, but quite changeable. New technologies make possible new ways of reading, but also call for discernment. While new contexts, media, and gadgets can powerfully serve both reader and text, there are many occasions when our reading can benefit from limits.
Today’s web pushes us to read more, click more, share more, and comment more, but there’s something comforting about less. As readers, we may also seek out a form that’s slower, quieter, simpler, and less distracting. Neither nostalgic resistance to new technologies nor wholesale and uncritical adoption of them is the answer, but rather a prudent and discerning understanding of the nature of our particular texts, our appropriate relationships to them, and the tools that facilitate those relationships.
Read the whole piece here.
Just read your piece on CT (ReTweeted by Andy Crouch). I would love to talk with you more about what you’re reading as you develop these ideas. I’m getting ready to start working on a dissertation chapter about American undergraduates and their approaches to Biblical Literacy. Although they can’t use the metalanguage that you’ve provided here, many of the students I’ve interviewed are attentive to and making critical decisions about their engagement with Scripture based on precisely the kinds of distinctions you’re making about medium and reading environment. (more here if you’re interested: http://melodypugh.wordpress.com/research/)
I’d love to hear more about the work you’re doing!
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