Twittering the Gospel

in International Journal of Public Theology
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The Australian federal election of 2013 provides the context for a consideration of whether or not a public theology must reconsider its interdisciplinary nature. The electoral campaign itself is made up of a series of notable public issues and competing personalities. This election is marked by the rise of social media and its challenge to the mainstream media. It is a public territory marked by moments of serious policy discussion interspersed with the trivia often found on Facebook and Twitter. The new media is fast-paced, often impressionistic. The standard default position of the church during an electoral campaign is to produce leaflets and manifestoes. They may be posted on an agency website but are they nimble enough for this changing public sphere?

Twittering the Gospel

in International Journal of Public Theology




Bill Adair‘Principles of PolitiFact and the Truth-O-Meter’The Sydney Morning Herald21 January 2011. The Sydney Morning Herald thereupon set up its own web-based equivalent called Fact Check.


Tim DunlopThe New Front Page: New Media and the Rise of the Audience (Melbourne: Scribe Publications2013). 10–11.


John W. de Gruchy‘Public Theology as Christian Witness: Exploring the Genre’International Journal of Public Theology1:1 (2007) 26–41 at 27.


William Storrar‘2007: A Kairos Moment for Public Theology’International Journal of Public Theology 1:1 (2007) 5–25 at 24–25.


Christian FuchsSocial Media: A Critical Introduction (London: Sage2014) pp. 179–209.


Jonathan Swan‘Liberals squirm as Abbott refers to “the suppository of wisdom”’The Sydney Morning Herald12 August 2013 para. 3 <> [accessed 5 December 2014].


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Paul Kelly‘Finally, the real Julia’The Australian1 December 2012; Sam de Britto ‘Will the real Julia Gillard please stand up and show her true—apparently quite cool—colours’ The Sydney Morning Herald 2 June 2013; Kerry-Anne Walsh The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the Media and Team Rudd Contrived to Bring Down the Prime Minister’ (Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin 2013).


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JerichoThe Rise of the Fifth Estate pp. 7–28.


Ibid. pp. 286–87.


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Jericho p. 279.


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John W. de Gruchy‘Public Theology as Christian Witness’39.


Michele ZappavignaDiscourse of Twitter and Social Media: How We Use Language to Create Affiliation on the Web (London and New York: Continuum2012) pp. 1–5. Zappavigna concentrates on a social semiotic perspective uses of emoticons solidarity hashtags rebroadcasting back-channelling retweeting.


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