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Faith Formation in a Trans-media Era

The church struggles with media. Whether it is a denomination negotiating the 24-hour news cycle or a church evaluating how Facebook or online games are influencing the youth group, media is raising questions and placing demands on communities of faith in ways that could not have been imagined just 20 years ago. Thus the importance of understanding media for the church has never been greater.

In Mediating Faith, church leaders of all kinds will find an engaging and insightful guide to this new and sometimes wondrous world. In doing so he offers an evaluation and theological response to the trans-media era that highlights its potential to transform our work and world. Far from frightening, Schnekloth highlights the opportunities and the riches of this fascinating time.

Order your pre-copy from FORTRESS PRESS

Release Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014


Schnekloth offers the churches, theologians, and the denizens of digitally-mediated environments an informed, experienced, thoughtful pathway into the attentive apprehension of the convergence of ecclesial life with the revolution that suffuses our worlds. His book carries the authority of someone who has let the environment teach him its effects, its limitations, its possible promises and betrayals, and above all the signs of the Spirit already at work with in the circumstances he narrates. Other such works exoticise digital environments with the bemused distance of a European explorer describing ‘new worlds’ (the condescending *dis*orientalism of pundits unfamiliar with the cultures on which they’re pontificating); Schnekloth sees loveliness and risk and uncertainties, and he introduces his readers to them with generous appreciation and judicious caution.
– A. K. M. Adam,
Senior Tutor/Tutor in New Testament,
St Stephen’s House, University of Oxford


The church whose Gospel was propelled by the technology of Gutenberg has in the 21st century struggled to figure out how our fellowship in Christ relates to the new communication technologies. Clint Schnekloth offers us a breakthrough path forward in interpreting the relationship between social media and the media gratiae (the means of grace).
– John Nunes,
President of Lutheran World Relief

Clint Schnekloth’s After the Book: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era offers an important voice into a vital conversation about how new media is changing the culture, changing the church, and changing what it means to live the life of faith. Theologically grounded and richly resourced from across disciplinary boundaries, Schnekloth gracefully explores how churches can find space to share and transform ministry practice and how they might make space for silence, reflection, and deeper formation in the “always on” digitally-integrated locales. His work will help ministry leaders to understand new media locales not merely as collections of technologies that can make communication more expansive, efficient, and inexpensive, but as “cultures enlivened by the Spirit that serve as centers of repeating action, continuing places of possibility” where formation is richly transformed and transformative.
– Elizabeth Drescher, PhD

Wow – this is an excellent piece of work. It hooked me and wouldn’t let go (a remarkable achievement for this genre)…Schnekloth is to be congratulated for integrating such diverse streams into a readable and applicable text, one that pushes the conversation forward and is at once technological, theological, and anthropological. Impressive.
– Ryan Bolger
Associate Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture
co-authored Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Communities in Postmodern Cultures

“Although Schnekloth himself observes “we do not as of yet have a complete sense of the effects of new media on our present culture and faith formation,” at the same time he makes a significant contribution to that analysis in this insightful volume. Replete with examples, anecdotes, observations, and research, Mediating Faith will be of use and interest to the pastor, the professor, and the observers of religious and cultural trends alike. Unsettling and hopeful.”
– Paul E. Hoffman
Lead Pastor, Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church
Seattle, WA

Clint is a good writer. Made my brain sing for awhile. You can use social media to reach people you otherwise couldn’t. Clint’s doing it already.
– Drew Curtis
founder and an administrator of Fark.com, an Internet news aggregator. He is also the author of It’s Not News, It’s FARK: How Mass Media Tries to Pass off Crap as News

Acknowledging the spurious eschatological promises of new technologies, he helps us see the rise of new media as neither utopia or dystopia, yet conveys a sense of urgency for the church: Failing to use these powerful new medias to form faith will be a loss to the church and the world. These pages make a case for catechesis as digital virtual play, in which one is self-engaged and self-directed, moving at ones own pace. In gaming, one learns the game by playing the game. Should not faith formation be akin to this?
– Michael Rinehart, bishop
Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Mediating Faith is an exciting exploration of the place of media in the life of the Church. Schnekloth sheds light on the complex ‘virtual world’ of new technology by making links to the ways in which through preaching and catechesis the Church has historically mediated the faith. Through making these connections this book represents a significant contribution to the debate around the future shape of the Church.’
– Pete Ward
King’s College London

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