refocusing toward my thesis
Well, I've used this blog for years on a variety of ministry and personal topics, including this past year the experience of heading to fulltime work in theological studies for a couple years.
This year marks an entire year of classwork finished, and I'm beginning to need to focus. The main goal for the next 5-6 months: choose a specific thesis proposal.
The general topic for my course of study is the "intersection of theology, communications, and culture." This means I've been focusing on communication studies approaches for looking at theology, but even this is difficult to navigate.
A communications approach could focus on how we communicate theology (e.g. evangelism or "preaching") and therefore be classified in "ministry" or "missiology." Missiology has possibly done some of the best integrative work in communications and culture globally, some of the insights which are finally coming back to hit our local North American context.
OR it could instead look at the process of doing theology (theological reflection) itself. Noting the cultural context and invisible context which creates fish-in-water assumptions during the process. I'm particularly curious about the difference the generational distinction of current writing pastors and theologians compared to those that will have grown up in an information age (which I'm sorta on the bleeding age of... 30 years old). How will the process and assumptions change? This possibly gets into theological prolegomena (epistomology, etc), which I've not had tons of training in. On the other hand, I can speak with a little bit of cultural knowledge from an online society.
OR I could look at a particular doctrine and the communications dimension within that doctrine, which probably less examines the process. Ex: what are the communicative elements of incarnation or sacraments or ecclesiology?
OR... I could look at a theology of communication, a la Vanhoozer's text as a communicative act that demands a moral responsibility.
Anyway, I hope to upgrade this space to help me process my thoughts in the area, and invite my current friends, partners, but also new friends from the blog world to interact with me as I move through this year of research.