Transversal modes of being a missional church in the digital context of COVID-19

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies

Field Value
Title Transversal modes of being a missional church in the digital context of COVID-19
Creator Mpofu, Buhle
Subject — transversal rationality; digital media; missional paradigm shifts; Uniting Presbyterian Church in South Africa; COVID-19
Description The disruptions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the year 2020 reshaped all aspects of life, including religious practices and rituals. As more religious activities shifted to digital space during the lockdown periods, there was a growing need to examine the link between religion and digital media. Using the model of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA), this article draws on the notion of transversal rationality and concepts of rationality, cognitive, evaluative and pragmatic to posit that COVID-19 has configured traditional missional and liturgical spaces in ways that locate the agency of the marginalised at the centre. The article highlights how COVID-19 configured Christian mission as it disrupted power dynamics through religious digital spaces, which emerged as a new way of reimaging a missional church. These new digital spaces mediate between interaction and ‘telepresence’, embodied in the representations of the sacred available through online religious systems in practices where users are no longer ordinary believers – but religious participants who have power and freedom to choose. Although this is not a new phenomenon, the article concludes that such spaces created by COVID-19 shifts in power dynamics present opportunities for ordinary members to reinvent new meanings on what it means to be present or absent, to name, narrate and reinterpret the divine and forge new meanings towards participating in the mission of God.Contribution: Although this is not a new phenomenon, this article represents a systematic and practical reflection within a paradigm in which the intersection of philosophy, religious studies, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences generate an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary contested discourse.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2021-02-25
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/hts.v77i4.6341
Source HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies; Vol 77, No 4 (2021); 6 pages 2072-8050 0259-9422
Language eng
Coverage — — —
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Buhle Mpofu