Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Disseminary

"What importance does the staggering éclat of Napster have for theological educators? It suggest the possibility of what one might call a “Disseminary,” a common effort to put as much theological sustenance at the disposal of as many people as possible. It suggests that a Disseminary can serve the mission of theological education by raising the tide of theological literacy among its students and among interested believers (and non-believers). A Disseminary sets out as rich a banquet of theological wisdom as it can manage to offer, without trying to set standards for who consumes it, how well, when, how often, or… anything.

A disseminary: a site that uses electronic technology to spread as much theological nourishment as possible, without devoting energy to policing the results of that distribution. No degrees. No requirements. No restrictions. Put it out where users can grab it. And get out of the way." (AKM Adam, Practicing the Disseminary: Technology Lessons from Napster)

This is an essay from the Napster era but even more incredibly applicable now than before. Given recent possible legislation on the free exchange of information, etc., theologians and churches need to decide how and whether to make resources free and available. Many on-line faith communities now function more and more like the disseminary he describes.

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