Skip to content
Top banner

Spirituality of Communication as Foundation for a Missional Approach to Digital Culture

ARC Admin
2024-06-11 07:23 UTC+7 64


ISSN 1686-9184


Daniella Zsupan-Jerome


The article seeks to make the case for a Christian spirituality of communication, one that especially addresses the communicative and interpersonal dynamics in digital culture and strives to elevate these toward a disposition of authentic relationality. From this foundation in a Christian spirituality of communication, the article proposes several key theological characteristics as fundamental for a missional approach to digital culture, including revelation, incarnation, communion, truth in context, and announcing hope. The article concludes by proposing a framework for a lived, missional spirituality expressing each of these in the digital context. Living out of this framework offers digital culture greater potential toward human flourishing as a whole.


Christian spirituality, digital culture, theology of communication, relationality, mission and evangelization


Barkan, Ross. “The Zeitgeist is Changing. A Strange Romantic Backlash to the Tech Era Looms.” The Guardian, December 28, 2023.

Burton, Tara Isabella. “Of Memes and Magick.” Aeon, December 14, 2023.

Campbell, Heidi, and Wendi Bellarr. Digital Religion: The Basics. New York: Routledge, 2023.

Clark, Kathleen D. “Communicating as Though Connected: Conceptualizing Christian Contemplative Conversation.” Journal of Communication & Religion 43, no. 1 (Spring 2020): 40–54.

Communio et Progressio, 1971.

Dicastery for Communication. “Towards Full Presence: A Pastoral Reflection on Engagement with Social Media.” May 27, 2023.

Downey, Michael. Understanding Christian Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1997.

East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI). “Theological Foundations of a Christian Spirituality for Communicators.” East Asian Pastoral Review 18, no. 1 (January 1981): 72-79.

Eilers, Franz-Josef. Communicating in Ministry and Mission. Third Edition. Manila: Logos/Divine Word Publications, 2009.

Goldberg, Emma. “The Campus 'Techlash': [Style Desk].” New York Times, Jan 12, 2020.

Goodall Jr., H.L. “Mysteries of the Future Told: Communication as the Material Manifestation of Spirituality.” World Communication 22, no. 2 (December 1993): 40 -49.

Hochheimer, John. “Imagination and the Life Force: Toward a Theoretical Foundation for Spirituality and Communication.” Conference Papers -- National Communication Association, January 2009.

John Paul II. Pastores Dabo Vobis, 1992.

Kirkwood, William G. “Studying Communication about Spirituality and the Spiritual Consequences of Communication.” Journal of Communication & Religion 17, no. 1 (March 1994): 13-26.

Klein, Ezra. “The Medium really is the Message.” New York Times, August 14, 2022.

Millis, Diane M. Conversation, the Sacred Art: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction. Woodstock, Vermont: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2013.

Pontifical Council for Culture. “Towards a Pastoral Approach to Culture.” June 3, 1999.

Pope Paul VI. Dei Verbum, 1965.

Schneiders, Sandra. “Approaches to the Study of Christian Spirituality.” The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality, edited by Arthur Holder, 15-33. Newark: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2005.

Sheldrake, Philip. Explorations in Spirituality: History, Theology and Social Practice. New York: Paulist, 2010.

Sheldrake, Philip. Spirituality: A Brief History. 2nd Edition. Newark: John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. New York: Penguin Press, 2015. 

Pages 254-277


Submitted: February 15, 2024; Accepted: April 18, 2024; Published: June 30, 2024