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Theologies of the Digital - Workshop Announcement

International Research Colloquium, Princeton Theological Seminary / Center of Theological Inquiry in Nov 15/16, 2019

Published onAug 26, 2019
Theologies of the Digital - Workshop Announcement

Theologies of the Digital: An International Research Colloquium

November 15, 1:00 p.m. to November 16, 8:00 p.m.

Princeton Theological Seminary / Center of Theological Inquiry


In the digital age, all aspects and subsystems of life are undergoing transformations, sometimes radically and other times subtly. What, if anything, can theology as a discipline contribute to the analysis, conceptualization and assessment of the emergent logics of “the digital”?

Theologians from the USA and Germany will come together to discuss this question. They will use dogmatic loci as lenses to read and interpret contemporary developments in the context of digitalization, as well as challenge and reformulate theological insights in light of said developments. Areas of exploration will include theological anthropology with special emphasis on accountability and diversity; concepts of freedom; memory and knowledge; and scripture as authority and interface. Proposals may be tentative or bold in experimenting with new ideas. Because of this open nature of the inquiry, the workshop will be conducted in an exploratory and collaborative spirit.


Clifford Anderson (Vanderbilt University)
Peter Dabrock (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Benedikt Friedrich (Universität Bochum)
Michael Hemenway (Iliff School of Theology)
Florian Höhne (Universität Berlin)
Kate Ott (Drew University)
Hanna Reichel (Princeton Theological Seminary)
Gotlind Ulshoefer (Universität Tübingen)
Frederike van Oorschot (FEST Heidelberg)


Friday, November 15

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. | Registration

12:00–1:00 p.m. | Lunch at Mackay

1:00–1:30 p.m. | Opening / Introductions

1:30–3:00 p.m. | The Human Person

  • Digital Spiritual Embodiment: Power, Difference, and Interdependence – Kate Ott

  • The Porous Mask: A Theological Reflection on Concepts of Personhood and Personal Agency – Florian Hoehne

3:00–3:30 p.m. | Coffee break

3:30–5:30 p.m. | Freedom

  • From Data Protection to Data Sovereignty: A Multidimensional Governance Approach for Shaping Informational Freedom in the ‘Onlife’-era – Peter Dabrock

  • Exploring Freedom: A Conversation between Lutheran Theology and the Free Software Movement – Benedikt Friedrich

  • Digital Omniscience and Practices of Freedom – Hanna Reichel

6:00 p.m. | Dinner at a nearby restaurant

Saturday, November 16

8:00 a.m. | Breakfast buffet at Erdman Center

9:00–10:30 a.m. | Scripture

  • Scripture as Interface – Michael Hemenway

  • Authority as Interaction: Hermeneutic and Medial Questions on the Authority of Scripture – Frederike van Oorschot

10:30–11:00 a.m. | Coffee break

11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions of Student Presentations

12:30–2:00 p.m. | Lunch at Mackay

2:00–3:30 p.m. | Memory and Knowledge

  • A New Hermeneutics of Suspicion? The Challenge of 'Deep Fakes' to Theological Epistemology – Clifford Anderson

  • Changes in Remembrance and Interpretation? The Digitization of Biblical Texts and Digital Preservation Under Theological and Ethical Considerations – Gotlind Ulshoefer

3:30–4:00 p.m. | Coffee break

4:00–5:30 p.m. | Final Discussion, Conclusion

6:00 p.m. | Dinner at a nearby restaurant

  • The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with the Center of Theological Inquiry and with PTS’s TH3334 course ‘Theologies of Order and Chaos’.

  • Given the collaborative workshop nature of this project, there is no public registration for this conference. Those interested in participating should directly contact Dr. Hanna Reichel.

  • Videos of the lectures will be publicly available through the Seminary’s regular channels after the event.

  • All contributions will be published in a forthcoming special issue of Cursor_ Zeitschrift fuer explorative Theologie

  • The workshop is funded by Princeton Theological Seminary, the Center for Theological Inquiry Princeton and Protestant Church in Germany/Evangelische Kirche Deutschland

November 15, 1:00 p.m. to November 16, 8:00 p.m.


Center of Theological Inquiry
50 Stockton St, Princeton, NJ 08540

For More Information, see

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