Missiology Lecturee 2019
Missiology Lecturee 2019

2019 Missiology Lectures

Techno-Sapiens in a Networked Era: Becoming Digital Neighbors

October 30 – 31, 2019  |  Pasadena, California

Overview

How does social media enable or constrain me in loving my (digital) neighbor?

The 2019 Missiology Lectures will look at how social media shapes human interaction, and, more specifically, at the implications of social media platforms for cross-cultural or interreligious encounter.

Join us for a gathering of leading scholars of technology as it relates to theology, religion, and formation, to explore the ways in which modern technology is neither solely a dehumanizing force in the world nor a mere instrument for evangelizing the world, but rather the very means by which incarnation living happens—the media in and through which human bodies love the (digital) other.

Conference attendees will talk about technology as they interact with theologians, educators, missionaries, and ministry leaders, as well as engage in hands-on Virtual Reality experiences.

Conference Organizers: Ryan K. Bolger, Kutter Callaway, Kirsteen Kim

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.

Registration

General Registration – $99*
Alumni and Non-Fuller Students – $55*
Fuller Students, Staff, and Faculty – $15*
Online (Access to full live stream) - $35

*Lunch and Conversations on Thursday, October 31, is included in the registration price

Schedule

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Hosted by Ryan K. Bolger

10:00 a.m. Chapel–featuring Kutter Callaway

2:00 p.m. Pre-Conference Registration

2:30 p.m. Data, Discernment, and Duty: Illuminating Engagement in the Internet of Things
Lecture: Pauline Cheong
Response: Marcia Clarke

4:15 p.m. Coffee Break

4:45 p.m. When Religious Internet Memes about Mean: Loving the Religious Other
Lecture: Heidi Campbell
Response: Erik Aasland

5:30 p.m. Speaker Panel
Pauline Cheong, Marcia Clarke, Heidi Campbell, Erik Aasland
Moderated by Ryan K. Bolger

 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hosted by Kutter Callaway

8:30 a.m. A New Neighbor or a Divisive Force?
Lecture: Noreen Herzfeld
Response: Kirsteen Kim

9:45 a.m. Coffee Break

10:15 a.m. The Techno Human: Better World or Deeper Problems?
Lecture: Ilia Delio (participating via webcam)
Response: Amos Yong

11:30 a.m. Speaker Panel
Noreen Herzfeld, Kirsteen Kim, Ilia Delio, Amos Yong
Moderated by Kutter Callaway

12:00 p.m. Lunch and Conversations

1:30 p.m. Positive Youth Development and Technology: Developing Character in Youth in the Present Technological Landscape
Lecture: Sarah A. Schnitker and Madison Kawakami Gilbertson
Response: Susan L. Maros

2:45 p.m. Coffee Break

3:15 p.m. Back to the Future: Immortal But Not Fully Alive
Lecture: Angela Gorell
Response: Wilmer G. Villacorta

4:30 p.m. Speaker Panel
Heidi Campbell, Erik Aasland, Angela Gorell, Wilmer G. Villacorta
Moderated by Kutter Callaway

5:00 p.m. Coffee Break

7:30 p.m. Speaker Panel
Bala Musa, Matt Lumpkin, Matthew Eppinette, Greg Cootsona, Enoch Charles
Moderated by Kutter Callaway

Speakers and Abstracts

 Heidi CampbellHeidi Campbell

Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

When Religious Internet Memes about Mean: Loving the Religious Other

This lecture is based on research that explores the tendency for Internet memes about religion to promote problematic religious stereotypes. Specifically, this lecture investigates the role the Internet and social media plays in promoting incivility towards non-Christian religious individuals and cultures. The viral nature of Internet memes can encourage the circulation of biased narratives about the religious other online, which threatens our call to be neighborly to those treated with contempt in a digital age. By studying the dominant messages promoted by Internet memes about religion, especially related to Islam and Judaism, we see that online visual and textual discourse about minority religions within American culture relies on hostile tropes and biases about religious individuals. By investigating how such messages communicate about religious others in popular Internet memes, this lecture will ask how memes can be used as basis of dialogue that enable us to embrace and show care for the religious others in our midst, online and offline.

Respondent: Erik Aasland is affiliate assistant professor of anthropology and coordinator of global initiatives at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Pauline CheongPauline Cheong

Professor of Communication at Arizona State University

Data, Discernment, and Duty: Illuminating Engagement in the Internet of Things

As contemporary technological innovations are embedded in our “smart” homes, schools and churches, sensors in our neighborhoods, and even microchipped in ourselves, what are the human capacities and knowledge needed to thrive in an era of Big Data and the Internet of Things? Drawing upon her empirical research on intercultural communication, social media, and digital platforms, Dr. Cheong will discuss opportunities and challenges in loving our neighbors in light of intensifying mediatization. Understanding evolving and relational practices of datafication will help shed light on newer constructions of knowledge and authority, including implications for missional engagement and service.

Respondent: Marcia Clarke is affiliate professor of practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Ilia DelioIlia Delio, OSF

Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Theology at Villanova University

The Techno Human: Better World or Deeper Problems?

There is no doubt that technology has become embedded in human life, from global communications to biomedical enhancements. It is estimated that by 2025 the quality of human life will be significantly improved for most of the global population. But will we have a more just and sustainable planet? However, the values of enhancement cannot supplant virtues of transformation. A world of compassion and forgiveness requires that we go against our nature, not extend our nature. It is going against our nature, however, that we seek to avoid; hence the lure of artificial intelligence. In this lecture, Dr. Delio will explore the resistance of nature to transcend itself apart from the radical otherness of God and engage the cosmotheandric vision of Teilhard de Chardin and his novel idea of Ultrahumanism.

Respondent: Amos Yong is dean of the School of Theology and the School of Intercultural Studies and professor of theology and mission at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Angela GorrellAngela Gorrell

Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Lecturer in Divinity and Humanities at Yale University (Until August 2019)

Back to the Future: Immortal But Not Fully Alive

Babel-fish earbuds. The Internet of Things. Generative Adversarial Networks. And on the horizon of technological and informational change—a vision of a new humanity—superhumans made immortal by robotic limbs, microchips, gene modification, and nanosystems. How do we share the gospel in a world where people think of death as a solvable problem? What has God done in and through Jesus Christ that speaks to a digital age? How do we tell the stories of what God is doing in a new media landscape? Together, we will consider why the pursuit of becoming fully human should eclipse the quest to become immortal and, in doing so, shape Christian witness in such a time as this.

Respondent: Wilmer G. Villacorta is associate professor of intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Madison GilbertsonMadison Kawakami Gilbertson

PhD student in Psychological Science at Fuller Theological Seminary

Co-Presenting with Sarah A. Schnitker

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary

NoreenNoreen Herzfeld

Reuter Professor of Science and Religion at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

A New Neighbor or a Divisive Force?

The term AI conjures images of robots or the quasi-human figures of science fiction and film. We imagine digital companions and co-workers that think and act like ourselves. This vision of AI seems to enlarge our neighborhood, giving us something we innately desire—an “other” with whom we can relate, as we relate to our fellow humans. However, there are two things wrong with this vision. First, without a sensate body, computers are incapable of feeling emotion, making them a poor substitute for human relationships. Second, this isn’t the AI we have. We most frequently encounter AI not in some quasi-human or even robotic form, but in faceless algorithms that aggregate our data and manipulate our behavior online. This AI not only fails to give us new neighbors to love but has proven, so far, to be an isolating and politically divisive force, separating us from the human neighbors we already have.

Respondent: Kirsteen Kim is Associate Dean for the Center of Missiological Research (CMR) and professor of theology and world Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Sarah SchnitkerSarah A. Schnitker

Associate Professor of Psychology at Baylor University

Positive Youth Development and Technology: Developing Character in Youth in the Present Technological Landscape

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary