Category Archives: Session: Make

Creating Multi-Platform Digital Publications in Religion and Theology

I am interested in how others are using and designing vertically integrated content publication of religion and theology studies, and would like to share how I have been using multi-platform digital technology.

I propose to give a short presentation on my work on the Jesus Prayer (and hesychia: prayer and contemplation in silence) that was originally a doctoral thesis and ethnographic field study, that I’ve “outputted” into ten different platforms: dissertation, ethnographic film, trade book (HarperOne), mass-market feature film (theaters, digital downloads on iTunes, Amazon, and DVD), two websites (, music/meditation/prayer CD, PBS network special, Digital Study Guide, national public radio special (Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life), and an academic book (Fortress Press, Feb. 1, 2014).  All the same content; designed and adapted to be widely shared across every platform.

Then, the session can become a conversation about how others have implemented and are designing multi-platform (transmedia) dissemination.

Finally, if there’s time and interest, let’s do a think tank and brainstorming session on how to translate research and discoveries into multiple outputs, inside and outside academia. Take away a sketch of how your work can be digitally shared.

I am currently Adjunct Instructor at New York University’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television (teaching history to media students), and Executive Producer/Host of a national public radio/podcast series titled “Rethinking Religion” from Columbia University’s Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life. I completed my doctorate at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2008, interdisciplinary: Theology and the Arts.

Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D.

Your Manifesto Here

A new project based at the Social Science Research Council — including the folks who previously developed digital forums like The Immanent Frame and Frequencies, such as the SSRC’s Jonathan VanAntwerpen and Kathryn Lofton of Yale — is gearing up to take a long, hard look at how the digital turn affects the production, circulation, and consumption of knowledge about religion in a global context. We see THATCamp as a potentially integral player in this process, and we’d like your help starting now, at the ground floor.

I propose to facilitate a discussion about how an SSRC-driven publication project can jumpstart the kinds of discussions that THATCamp is bringing to AAR and beyond. What would a hypothetical collaborative manifesto on digital religion scholarship and journalism look like? What Buddhas need to be killed (so to speak); what idols need to be smashed? What groundwork needs to be laid? This is a unique opportunity to help shape a concrete, large-scale academic and public-facing project that’s very much in line with what brings us together for THATCamp in the first place.