In honour of that span, and because I noticed the other day that something was missing from the Web, I have reconstructed the original web version of the talk I gave at the Theology and Pedagogy in Cyberspace conference in 2001. Teaching Theology and Religion (on whose editorial board I now sit — hey, where’s the cushion?) subsequently published a longer, dressier version of the presentation as an academic article, but it loses some of the vigour of the as-presented talk. Mine was one of the later papers, if not quite the last, and I got impatient with the ways my fellow presenters were imagining the internet and the Web, so I was editing the talk and even some of the graphics as I was waiting my turn. Considering the talk was given in 2001 — I wasn’t even blogging yet! — I’m quite proud of it. I stand by the general premise, if not all the specifics. And I wish that someplace would put some institutional weight behind actually, whole-heartedly embracing the vision I set out there. (The ideas were, at that point, already two years old; I made essentially the same pitch to the dean and the president at Princeton Seminary while I was working there, and then again to the dean of Seabury as soon as I moved there.)
You can see institutions implementing some of the aspects of a Disseminary-like vision, but I’m not aware that anyplace has fully, deliberately gotten aboard the cluetrain. I regret that — there are twelve, fourteen years of innovation and impact that we could have been making — but the opportunity hasn’t closed.