Centre staff (historically under the CODEC centre name) have published books, articles, and essays for both peer-reviewed academic publications and for more general audiences. Below is a selection. Further publications can be found under each individual team member. These books should appear over the next two years. CfDT also sponsors the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture.
The Bible, Social Media and Digital Culture
Author: Dr Peter Phillips
Published in the Routledge Focus on Religion Series, Autumn, 2019.
This book centres on the use of the Bible within contemporary digital social media culture and gives an overview of its use online with examples from brand-new research from the CODEC Research Centre at Durham University, UK. It examines the shift from a propositional to a therapeutic approach to faith from a sociological standpoint.
The book explores the data as they relate to Abby Day’s concept of performative belief, picking up on Mia Lövheim’s challenge to see how this concept works out in digital culture and social media. It also compares the data to various construals of contemporary approaches to faith performative faith, including Christian Smith and Melissa Lundquist Denton’s concept of moralistic therapeutic deism. Other research is also compared to the findings of these projects, including a micro-project on Celebrities and the Bible, to give a wider perspective on these issues in both the UK and the USA.
Defining Digital Theology: Digital Humanities, Digital Religion and the Particular Work of the CODEC Research Centre and Network. Open Theology, 5(1), pp. 29-43
Authors: Drs Peter Phillips, Kyle Shiefelbein-Guerrero, Jonas Kurlberg
The Centre's core research staff, Peter Phillips and Jonas Kurlberg, worked with AAR panel chair, Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero to develop a paper exploring the background to digital theology and four types of digital theological research/engagement.
The Bible and Digital Millennials
Author: Drs David Ford, Joshua Mann and Peter Phillips
Published in the Routledge Focus on Religion Series, Spring, 2019.
The Bible and Digital Millennials explores the place of the Bible in the lives of 18 to 35 year-olds who have been born into the digital age. As the use of digital media becomes increasingly pervasive, it should follow that it will have a significant effect on people’s engagement with religion and the sacred texts associated with it. Drawing on contemporary in-depth surveys, this study unpacks digital millennials’ stance towards, use of and engagement with the Bible in both offline and online settings.
The book features results from a nationally representative survey of 2,000 young British people specifically commissioned for this project. The data is also compared with the findings of others, including a poll of 850 British Bible-centric Christians and recent Bible engagement surveys from the USA.
This book investigates the relevance of the Bible to the lives of those who have grown up in the digital age. It will, therefore, offer fresh insight to any scholar of biblical studies, religion and digital media, and religious studies.
Digital millennials and the Bible
Discover how the Bible is perceived by 'digital millennials'
This report explores some of the findings from a landmark study of Bible perceptions and engagement among young digitally savvy adults (18-35 year olds). Carried out in partnership with Bible Society and produced by Barna this report provides key insights into their stance towards the Bible, use of it and what impact if any the Bible has in their social media networks.
The pixelated text: Reading the Bible within digital culture
Author: Revd Dr Peter Phillips
Peter M. Phillips, "The pixelated text: Reading the Bible within digital culture", available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0040571X18794139
CODEC's Director, Pete Phillips, delivered the Thistleton Lecture at St John's Nottingham in May 2017. A version of the lecture was printed in the Theology Journal in November 2018 entitled: The Pixelated Text. In the article, Pete explores the mediation of the Bible both in history and in today's digital culture and speculates where such research might be heading in the future. Robin Gill, the editor of Theology, referred to Pixelated Text as a "a strikingly original article".
Engaging the Word: Biblical Literacy and Christian Discipleship
Author: Revd Dr Pete Phillips
Peter M. Phillips. Engaging the Word: Biblical Literacy and Christian Discipleship. Abingdon, UK: BRF, 2017. £7.99.
Peter Phillips is convinced that the Church in the West is not devouring the Bible, it's not meditating on the word, as it should. As a result, Jesus' followers are spiritually malnourished and failing to thrive. Engaging the Word will transform the Bible engagement habits of Christian disciples and leaders. It will make an impact on the spiritual health of the Church and those who follow Jesus - opening up new opportunities for drawing on God's word and new flows of life as a result.
Engaging the Word sets out what we mean by biblical literacy and what it looks like in contemporary Western culture, exploring the benefits of biblical literacy for Christian disciples, and focusing on the benefits for Christian leaders as local theologians and preachers. A series of practical explorations of the role of the Bible will help us reach up to God, reach in to develop our own identity in Christ, and to reach out to others.
Wrestling with the Word: Preaching Tricky Texts
Editor and author: Revd Dr Kate Bruce
Eds. Kate Bruce and Jamie Harrison, Wrestling with the Word: Preaching Tricky Texts. London: SPCK, 2016. £12.99
In Wrestling with the Word, well-known and accomplished preachers grapple with a range of notoriously difficult biblical Old and New Testament texts. As well as providing sample sermons – in an exhilarating variety of structural styles and voices – they offer ideas to help in the planning process of interpreting and applying such passages.
Contributors: John Bell, Richard Briggs, Kate Bruce, David Day, James Dunn, Ruth Etchells, Lis Goddard, Lindsey Goodhew, Jamie Harrison, Jolyon Mitchell, Walter Moberly, John Pritchard, Roy Searle, Magdalen Smith, Geoffrey Stevenson, Miriam Swaffield, Mark Tanner, Justin Welby, Alison Wilkinson, David Wilkinson.
Igniting the Heart: Preaching and Imagination
Author: Revd Dr Kate Bruce
Kate Bruce. Igniting the Heart: Preaching and Imagination. London, UK: SCM Press, 2015. 206 pages. $27.
Kate Bruce is an ordained Anglican priest and Deputy Warden and Tutor in homiletics at Cranmore Hall in Durham, United Kingdom. Igniting the Heart is based on her 2013 Ph.D. thesis at Durham University. She calls for preachers to ignite faith by sparking imaginative connections with the hearer. Her focus on creativity and the sacramental nature of preaching is an invitation for preachers to honor God’s Word with their best use of words and images. Read more
Security and Privacy in a Digital Age
Author: Revd Dr Peter Phillips
The report explores issues of security and privacy in a Digital Age. What does the internet know about us? Are we safe online? What at the implications of the Snowdon leaks and the NSA/GCHQ snooping furore? How could the Church respond to the growing issue of digital security? The report makes some recommendations about the safe use of data and the need for responsible action on the part of all users of the internet and digital applications.
The report was commissioned by the Methodist Church as a response to a Memorial sent to the Methodist Conference in 2013. The report was prepared for the April meeting of the Methodist Council but was not placed on the agenda. It is likely to be put on the agenda for the October meeting. Since the report deals with contemporary issues of the moment, it has been agreed that the report be published on the CODEC website without delay.
Download PDF: Report on Security and Privacy
Raising Children in the Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst
"In this vital and timely book, Dr Bex Lewis shows us how to empower young people to get the best out of new technology and to avoid it’s drawbacks. For most parents, teachers and youth leaders, getting to grips with new technology is a huge challenge – Twitter, Facebook, blogging, chat rooms, email, the internet and beyond – and as technology changes and young people grasp it faster than the older generations do, it can be a real struggle to know what to do to help, equip and defend."
Released by Lion Hudson, 21st February 2014
Let the Bible Live
An innovative approach to discipleship & mission was adopted in the North Yorkshire Dales - using many different approaches to get the Bible 'back out into the community' and encourage discipleship & nurture by and within local rural churches (read more about this on the Arthur Rank Centre).
The 2013 report is now available hard-copy from CODEC for £4.00, or free via PDF. For your copy please send a cheque made payable to "St John's College" to CODEC Admin, CODEC, St John's College, 3 South Bailey, Durham, DH1 3RJ
Growing Churches in the Digital Age
"For many churchgoing is no longer the ‘cultural norm’. People don’t actively ignore the church: they don’t even think about it. Matthew 5:13-16 calls us to be salt and light in the world, and for thousands in the ‘digital age’, that world includes social networks such Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. With literally billions in the digital spaces, the online social spaces presented by churches need to be appealing, welcoming, and not look like they are just an afterthought: they are now effectively the ‘front door’ to your church for digital users, and you ignore those spaces at your peril."
Read article (August 2013)
Digital Communication, The Church and Mission
"Digital communication, then, is about developing community and opening up communication channels. It is about finding opportunities for common purpose where people can come and share with us and we with them. It’s about working together and eating together and, perhaps, even worshipping together. It’s about breaking down barriers between online and offline communities and seeking to share together"
Download PDF (June 2013)
View from the Pew
CODEC's 2009 pilot survey on the reception of preaching in the contemporary church, commissioned by the College of Preachers.
The report is now available from CODEC for £5.00. For your copy please send a cheque made payable to "St John's College" to CODEC Admin, CODEC, St John's College, 3 South Bailey, Durham, DH1 3RJ