Archbishops on blogs and blogging

Maggie Dawn, an English priest, theologian and blogger had a chance to sit down with the Archbishops of York and Canterbury. During the opening of the discussion the question of the emerging role of the blogger was broached.

According to the report on her blog:

“‘[Blogs] are clearly part of the whole knowledge economy’, said Archbishop Rowan. ‘They have encouraged people not to take in passively what’s produced – it has opened up a more interactive environment for the sharing of knowledge – a democratisation of knowledge. And clearly that is bound to affect the Church at every level.’

Is the democratisation of knowledge always a good thing, though, I asked him? Does it flatten a desirable level of expertise?

‘It can certainly flatten expertise,’ he replied. ‘But perhaps the more worrying issue is that in can in some ways encourage unreflective expression – it’s possible simply to think it, and say it, without any thought.  When that happens in personal conversation, there is a humanising effect. But on the screen, it’s less human.’

The conversation continues:

[…]the Archbishop of York chipped in: ‘On the other hand, people have found real friendships through blogs, who would never have otherwise met each other – it’s a worldwide connection, people really do ‘meet’ you on your blog.  When I cut up my collar the response online was enormous – that’s when I realised just how many boundaries can be crossed with blogs.’

He thought for a minute, and then added, ‘But you know, when people write without thinking, it can get very difficult; it can be offensive and troublesome.  The best of what’s there on the blogs is from those who take a little time to reflect before they publish. But there is no choice about whether we engage with this new media. It’s the world we are in – the Church has to engage with it!’”

Read the full interview here. It’s the first in a series of posts, so check back every now and then.

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