On 22 June 2021, the 2021 Yale-Edinburgh conference commenced with the keynote address by Dr Alexander Chow, entitled: What does Jerusalem have to do with the Internet? World Christianity and Digital Culture. We are pleased to make the recording of this keynote publicly available.
If you are unable to access the video above from YouTube, you can also try watching it from the University of Edinburgh’s Media Hopper service.
As part of this year’s online Yale-Edinburgh conference, we are releasing a series of pre-conference videos prepared by partners from around the globe. You can subscribe and see it on our YouTube channel playlist or on our MediaHopper playlist. Here’s the first of our videos:
If you have trouble accessing the YouTube, you can also watch this on MediaHopper.
Oral, Print, and Digital Cultures in World Christianity and the History of Mission On-line, from New College, University of Edinburgh, 22–24 June 2021 Proposals due: 20 March 2021 29 March 2021 Social media hashtag: #YaleEdin2021
The next meeting of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission is to take place on-line, from New College, University of Edinburgh, from 22-24 June 2021. More information about the on-line format will be provided later.
We anticipate that the on-line format will increase the number of paper proposals that are submitted. Yet we will also be working with a condensed time schedule due to the multiple time zones we will be spanning. We will prioritise early career scholars and offer two options for paper presentations: (1) a short oral presentation in real time (15min + Q&A time) and (2) a presentation in the form of a pre-recorded 3 min video with a single slide.
When submitting an abstract please ensure that:
it is close to the theme of the conference,
you state the year you gained your PhD, or your student status
your preference for short oral presentation or pre-recorded 3 min video. Depending on demand, you may not be offered your first choice.
The theme of the meeting is the same as that of the cancelled 2020 conference.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic will, for generations to come, constitute a point of reference for many endeavours, issues and social institutions, including religion. Some of the most public responses to the pandemic have been of a religious nature. The pandemic has also obviously affected our understanding of world Christianity and its contextual expressions and responses, especially in the face of the enigma of evil. Historically speaking, the pandemic has permanently inserted itself into how the Christian life is lived and expressed. It struck at a time on the Christian calendar when Christians worldwide were preparing to celebrate the major landmarks of the faith – Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost.
In non-Western contexts in particular, these historical Christian events occasion major celebrations in various church activities with some of them culminating in social gatherings in the holidays associated with the Crucifixion and the Resurrection in particular. In some parts of Europe where traditional church services are no longer the norm, the Monday after Pentecost is a public holiday. Whether these Christian landmarks were to be celebrated in religious services, Masses or as social gatherings, the coronavirus ensured that in-person meetings had to be aborted. In many cases, media technology of various sorts came to the rescue as churches and their leaders looked for innovative ways in which to stay in touch with the faithful.
We have dedicated this and the next issues of Studies in World Christianity to the study of how select Christian churches and communities from different continental contexts responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding church services. Religion is itself a mediated phenomenon, and modern media technology has evolved as a major means of religious practice. In virtually all the studies relating to the church and the coronavirus scourge, media technology had to play a critical role in religious mediation and communion. The spread of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of events, negatively affected economics, disrupted political and social life and, most importantly for our purposes, religious life as well. When such negativities strike in terms of affliction, people search for answers. The Christian religious context, on account of its promises of salvation and deliverance from evil, became one of the main sources of appeal as people sought to make sense out of the pandemic situation.