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Interfaith Social Media: Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World

Interfaith Social Media:  Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World - a Parliament Webinar with Frank Fredericks

Register Now Wednesday, May 9, 2012 10:00am U.S. Central Time

This webinar will explore how to think about social media.  Using the frameworks of Marshall McLuhan, marketing theory, and media hook, we will explore how to leverage these technologies tactically, to comprise an effective overall strategy in interfaith and religious work.  #socialinterfaith

Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, Çöñár Records, and Co-Founder of Religious Freedom USA. After graduating from NYU, Frank worked in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga. In 2006, he founded World Faith. a youth-led interfaith organization active in ten countries. As an active blogger, Frank has contributed to the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and Sojourners. Frank has been interviewed on Good Morning America, NPR, New York Magazine, and various international media outlets, and is an IFYC Fellow Alumnus, Soliya Fellow, and YouthActionNet Fellow.

Frank also works as an independent Online Marketing and PR Consultant, consulting non-profits, corporations, foundations, recording artists, and political campaigns on web issues ranging from viral video and social networks to SEO and advertising. He resides in New York, New York, where he still performs as a professional musician with local artists.

Title: Interfaith Social Media:  Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World

Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements

PC-based attendees:

Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/567335422

This webinar will be recorded and will be available on our website after the event.

Click here to see more webinars and recordings of previous webinars

 

Five Social Media Trends that are Reshaping Religion

by Elizabeth Drescher
from Religion Dispatches

Over the past couple years, religionistas of all sorts have attempted to navigate a new media landscape in which old constructions of religious authority, identity, and practice are changing almost by the minute. This surely marks the beginning something of a Second Coming of religion in digitally-integrated form.

As we wait and watch this holiday season for, among other things, news of the much-anticipated Facebook IPO—perhaps the only miracle story compelling enough to capture our attention in these economic dark times—it seems worthwhile to take a look at some trends in social media (ordered pretty much as they came into my head) that are reshaping religion and spirituality:

Click here to read the full article

December 30th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

YouTube and the Language of Dialogue

by Stephen Pihlaja

If you’ve ever read comments that viewers post on YouTube videos, you know that the Internet can be a rough place for dialogue. Although online interaction between users of different backgrounds presents a unique opportunity for developing mutual understanding and empathy, it is unfortunately often marked by offence and misunderstanding. YouTube videos and comments in particular have a bad reputation for being incendiary and ugly, with users frequently forgetting that there is a face on the other side of the screen. Slurs and insults quickly consume the opportunity for dialogue, with little chance for mutual understanding.

To take an especially challenging example, in 2010, violent responses to and censorship of images of the prophet Muhammad in television and political cartoons spurred an online movement on Facebook and YouTube called ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day’ wherein users protested censorship of the images. These online protests had a global impact, leading Pakistan and Bangladesh to briefly ban Facebook and sparked important discussions about free speech, respect for other traditions, and religious expression in online environments.

Over the next two years, I hope to carefully investigate the language used in antagonistic interaction on YouTube during Everybody Draw Muhammad Day. I will build on previous research showing that metaphor played an important role in contributing to negative evaluations and offensive interactions between atheist and Christians users on YouTube. By analysing how language is used in videos made for and in response to ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day 2010,’ I hope to reveal the nuts and bolts of antagonism embedded in language, showing how language use contributed to perceptions of offence and misunderstanding between users.

I believe strongly that identifying moments of antagonism in language use could serve as an important resource for scholars and religious practitioners, particularly those struggling to resolve conflict around religious expression and free speech. Rather than discuss disagreements between users primarily in terms of large-scale differences in cultural or religious beliefs, I believe that starting from a small-scale perspective and looking closely at actual moments of disagreement and antagonism in interaction helps make abstract disagreements much clearer, and therefore, potentially easier to solve.

Instead of first talking about long histories of offense, I think there is value in focusing on single moments in interaction and identifying clearly in the language where misunderstanding is occurring. Once we can identify these moments where people are clearly misunderstanding one another, I think we can begin to talk about how antagonism can be diffused. Ultimately, we may be able to develop tools for positive, constructive interaction through more effective communication.

In the spirit of meaningful online dialogue, if this research sounds like it might be useful to you in your work or ministry, I would love to hear from you. Send me a message at S.S.Pihlaja@open.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Potential Impact’. Any and all thoughts would be welcome. Let the dialogue begin!

Stephen Pihlaja is a PhD Student a the Open University, UK

The Interfaith Movement On Twitter

from Huffington Post

CPWR was featured among HuffPost Religion’s top organizations promoting interreligious dialogue on Twitter.

Other featured organizations include State of Formation, Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, and Interfaith Youth Core.

Click here to view the full article

Click here to visit the Council on Twitter

Online Interfaith Media: Odyssey Networks’ Journey

Odyssey Networks: Call on Faithby Rev. Eric C. Shafer
Odyssey Networks

It was 1987 and America was riveted by the “televangelist” scandals—celebrity TV ministries collecting millions of dollars in donations that ended up supporting their own lavish lifestyles. In response, the leaders of the cable industry met with major US faith leaders, all determined to restore the integrity of faith on television. Together they founded the National Interfaith Cable Coalition (NICC) and underwrote what would become its Odyssey Channel, giving the new interfaith offering carriage on cable systems throughout the United States.

Fast forward to 2011: Today the media is not plagued by scandal but fueled by it. “Controversy sells.” In religion this means an emphasis on conflict rather than cohesion, strife rather than working together.

We saw this most clearly last year in the controversy surrounding a Muslim-sponsored community center in Lower Manhattan. Its construction was welcomed by the community and media until a set of bloggers and interest groups latched onto the story and made it appear controversial, bringing with it all sorts of attention — mostly negative — from the national media. Odyssey addressed this controversy and the people of faith who favored this community addition in a video covering an interfaith rally held on September 12th in support of the center.

This is but one example of how Odyssey Networks has found a new niche as America’s largest multi-faith coalition, with nearly 100 member faith groups, faith related organizations and individuals. We tell the stories of people of faith working together for the common good, promoting understanding among people of different faith traditions or even no faith tradition.

Other stories we have told recently include faith perspectives to on the death of Osama bin Laden, World Interfaith Harmony Week, the unprecedented Peter King hearings on American Muslims, the move to divide the Sudan into north and south, Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s visit to quake-devastated Haiti, and the “Politics of Hunger.”

Unsurprisingly in this era of “viral media,” these reports all first appeared on Odyssey Networks but then traveled around the Internet to sites like CNN online, Democracy Now, and the Huffington Post.

Yet not all of our work is “viral.” We recently sponsored an in-person national gathering to foster conversation around the topic of 9/11, the Conversation We Never Had. And although no longer a cable television channel, cable television remains a vital platform for Odyssey. On July 28, the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will air Odyssey’s Serving Life, the story of a unique convict-staffed hospice program in at Angola Penitentiary in Louisiana. In April Odyssey’s production of The Shunning, based on Beverly Lewis’ best-selling novel, debuted on the Hallmark Channel earning top ratings and critical acclaim.

And now, instead of a cable television channel, we have a growing “channel” for the fast-growing mobile telephone platform: our Call on Faith smartphone application. Odyssey has also increased its presence of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and plans to begin a channel on Roku, one of the new “over the top” Internet television providers, in 2012.

We like to call these efforts “Odyssey Everywhere,” meaning that to tell the stories of people of faith working for positive change in the world in 2011 we must use all of the so-called media “platforms” available to us and use them well.

Our world has become increasingly multi-media. Odyssey Networks is working to spearhead innovation, especially technological innovation, within the multi-faith movement. As people of faith with the important overall message of God’s love for the world to share, we must use all of the new technological advances to help us share this story.

June 2nd, 2011 at 6:33 am

Making the Internet Moral

stateofformation.orgby Chris Stedman

from the Washington Post

Is the Internet destroying our morals?

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued a warning that the Internet was “numbing” young people and creating an “educational emergency – a challenge that we can and must respond to with creative intelligence.”

Speaking at a Vatican conference on culture, Benedict also expressed concern that “a large number of young people” are “establish[ing] forms of communication that do not increase humaneness but instead risk increasing a sense of solitude and disorientation.”

Benedict’s comments created an uproar, but he has a point. Studies show that Internet addiction is linked to depression; in 2007, the comedy website Cracked offered a surprisingly moving take on this phenomenon titled “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable.”

It’s tempting, knowing this, to suggest that we all take a step away from our keyboards, turn off our computers, and go find a field to frolic in.

As much as I love the instant gratification of being able to download the latest Kanye West album the moment it is released and being able to stay connected to my family back in Minnesota through Facebook, I also know that the Internet has created a new kind of culture in which the rules of engagement have shifted dramatically. The rise of cyberbullying in recent years demonstrates that our more-connected world comes with new moral and ethical questions that we must respond to with creativity and acumen.

As we saw with “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,” culture wars are born online. But I also believe that the Internet has created opportunities to open channels of dialogue that were, previous to now, next to impossible. Where culture wars are born, so too can we build bridges.

With this conviction, I am excited by the launch of State of Formation, a new online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders from around the world, founded by the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue and run in partnership with Hebrew College, Andover Newton and collaboration with Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Click here to read the entire article

God and Google

From The Washington Post

By Brad Hirschfield

Like pretty much everything else, God can be found on Google. And this week, with the help of Google Street View, you don’t even have to search for images of the Divine to find you.

This image, captured by the Street View feature of ubiquitous searcher (a fact about Google which may hint at the search engine itself is increasingly God-like, if not actually God) has been interpreted by thousands as a glimpse of God captured on camera. Of course others have suggested that it is more likely bird poop on the camera lens. Whatever it is, there is a lesson here in when and why we see/think we see God.

It comes down to admitting that we all find the God or no-God for which we are looking. There is proof of either the existence or the non-existence of God. Their constant debating to the contrary, that is something upon which both deep believers and ardent atheists ought to agree.

When believers in the infinite insist that there are scientific proofs for the existence of the God in whom they believe, they are reducing the object of their faith to something whose existence can also be disproved. Is that really what they want? Is the God in whom they believe really so small as to be disproved? Maybe, but that’s no god worthy of one’s faith.

Click here to read the entire article.

October 25th, 2010 at 4:00 pm