Theologies of the Digital: An International Research Colloquium

November 15-16

Digital theology wide


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 the open nature of the inquiry, the workshop will be conducted in an exploratory and collaborative spirit.


Dr. Clifford Anderson (Vanderbilt University)
Prof. Dr. Peter Dabrock (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Benedikt Friedrich (Universität Bochum)
Dr. Michael Hemenway (Iliff School of Theology)
Dr. Florian Höhne (Universität Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Kate Ott (Drew University)
Prof. Dr. Hanna Reichel (Princeton Theological Seminary)
PD. Dr. Gotlind Ulshoefer (Universität Tübingen)
Dr. 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 Campus Center

1:00–1:30 p.m. | Opening / Introductions (Location: The Erdman Center, Cooper Conference Room)

1:30–3:00 p.m. | The Human Person (Location: The Erdman Center, Cooper Conference Room)

  • Digital Spiritual Embodiment: Power, Difference, and Interdependence – Kate Ott
  • The Porous Mask: A Theological Reflection on Concepts of Personhood and Personal Agency – Florian Höhne

3:00–3:30 p.m. | Coffee break

3:30–5:30 p.m. | Freedom (Location: The Erdman Center, Cooper Conference Room)

  • 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 (Location: Center of Theological Inquiry)

  • 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 (Location: Center of Theological Inquiry)

12:30–2:00 p.m. | Lunch at Mackay Campus Center

2:00–3:30 p.m. | Memory and Knowledge (Location: Center of Theological Inquiry)

  • 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 (Location: Center of Theological Inquiry)

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

  • The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with the Center of Theological Inquiry and with Princeton Theological Seminary’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

Event partners/sponsors


Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey

Nancy Hagner, Class of 2013

“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors. You get to challenge people’s minds and hearts, as the gospel challenges all of us.”