“Bridging Babel: New Social Media & Interreligious Dialogue,” By the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

Posted on May 24th, 2010 | Filed under Best Practices/Non-Profit, InterViews, Video

In May, 2010 the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University released its groundbreaking study on the impact of new media on inter-religious dialogue and action. Entitled, "Bridging Babel: New Social Media & Interreligious Dialogue," it featured the work of a number of organizations, including the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue.



Here is a more detailed description of the project in the words of the Berkley Center:


The Berkley Center's 2009-2010 Undergraduate Fellows Program provided a select group of Georgetown undergraduate students with the resources to study new social media and interreligious and intercultural understanding.


Beginning in September 2009, the Fellows defined their areas of research inquiry, elected project managers, and assigned roles and responsibilities within the team. They met bi-weekly throughout the academic year, researching and analyzing the fields of both new social media and interreligious and intercultural dialogue, in a process of lively debate and discussion around their approaches, analysis, and results. They conducted 39 in-depth interviews with scholars, religious and interfaith leaders, and technology experts to provide qualitative insights into an emerging field of research. The Fellows also conducted research and outreach through a paper survey at the 2009 World Parliament of Religions in Melbourne, Australia, and online through Facebook, Twitter (@BridgingBabel) and LinkedIn.


With direction and editorial assistance from Michael Nelson, Visiting Professor of Internet Studies in Georgetown's Communications, Culture, and Technology Program, Sara Lichterman, a Master's candidate in the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program, and Melody Fox Ahmed, Director of Programs and Operations at the Berkley Center, the Fellows developed the following report.

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