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Who’s Shaping Whom? Digital Disruption in the Spiritual Lives of Post-familial Emerging Adults

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Technology has always interrupted and reshaped culture. Digital technology is no different, of course, and—predictably—it continues to reshape a variety of frameworks: individual, social, and ecclesiastical. This paper investigates how late adolescent, emerging adults engage with new media, paying special attention to how digital technology influences their neurological, personal, and spiritual vitalities. Youth ministry practitioners, it will be argued, must be far more attentive to the conforming and transforming properties of digital engagement, which more profoundly impact the spiritual lives of late adolescents. A viable theology of technology is promoted, and suggestions for discipleship and stewardship praxis are encouraged.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Christian Ministries and Chair of the Christian Ministries department, Corban University, Salem, Oregon, USA,


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