11th Blogiversary

Today’s the eleventh anniversary of my first post, committed to pixels via Blogger in 2001.

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.

4 thoughts on “11th Blogiversary

  1. While we are remembering and celebrating, let’s remember also that AKMA’s entry into the blogosphere brought him an abundance of fabulous friendships, from all over. You all have transformed his life and mine in countless rich, joyful, funny, and challenging ways. Thank you for sharing your lives–in all their delights and pains–along with your thoughts, commentary, critiques, imaginations, personalities. Thank you for continuing these friendships through the years and through every shifting media. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for putting this up there! I remember that conference very fondly… and I’m distressed at far we have not come in the intervening years. As I stare down what might be the end of what has been typical theological education, this vision comes back all the more strongly. I wonder if it might be time to give some thought to doing the Disseminary again? Some of us might become bi-vocational in the near future (that is, getting paid to do something else, but still longing to be involved with theological education). Might that reality grant new room for something like the Disseminary?

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