In our world of confused situations, when words are thrown around like rocks, we need desperately to reclaim the dignity of personhood and once again begin to practice the hospitality of the word. The word, spoken and vital, flexible and full of life, invites us to use its power with gentleness and grace.
This is wordship.
-Looking for the commonplaces of our humanness.
-Listening to the heart of the other.
-Encouraging the voices of the unheard
Wordship. A small, but deeply intentional effort to open up those spaces for conversations that heal.
In her 2020 Community Day address, President Debra A. Schwinn, of Palm Beach Atlantic University, drew attention to “deep-seated fissures in our increasingly polarized society” and a prevalence of frustration between those with different viewpoints and opinions. “Anxiety is everywhere,” she noted. As a practical way forward, Schwinn offered an encouragement and added a new word to the PBA lexicon: Wordship.
This new term joins another pair of PBA traditions: Worship and Workship – the latter referring to the University’s signature community service program, initiated by PBA’s inaugural first lady Doris Moody. “Three amazing words and processes: worship, Workship and Wordship,” Schwinn said. “What a wonderful foundation upon which PBA can build.”
Silence, Civility, and Sanity: Hope for Humanity in a Digital Age Kindle Edition
Silence, Civility, and Sanity addresses the reclamation of civil communication and healthy public conversation at a time when people are very divided. Throughout this book, Stephanie Bennett focuses on the importance of silence to temper speech and embrace the art of listening to foster a more positive dialogue and civil society.
The Fold of Community Article
Tweet your testimony and text your tithe. “Today, options for Christian cyber-seekers are vast,” wrote Dr. Stephanie Bennett, PBA professor of communication and media ecology. In an award-winning book, she has traced the evolution of the media used in the Christian church experience and raised serious questions for faith leaders in the day of the iPhone.
Seeking the Sound of Silence: Human Presence and the Acoustics of Solitude
SILENCE, SOLITUDE, AND TRUE PRESENCE: A Qualitative Study of the Relational Ramifications of the Use of Personal Mobile Media
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP CHRISTIANITY: Discerning the Church in the Age of Entertainment
Marshall McLuhan and Jacques Ellul in Dialog
Jacques Ellul and the inefficiency of friendship: Social life and The Technological Society
Interpersonal Online Relationship Development
Stephanie Bennett, Ph.D., is Professor of Communication and Media Ecology at Palm Beach Atlantic University in South Florida, where for the past 16 years she has been teaching, writing, and mentoring undergraduate students. There she also directs Wordship, an initiative that seeks to set the pace for healing polarized conversations and advancing dialogue throughout campus and the wider community. Author of four books, including a futuristic series that deals with the importance of family and community in an age of digital domination, Bennett’s current project is a book on civility and silence, due to be published Fall 2021.
Her fictional trilogy, Within the Walls, employs story to explore the connection between community, family and technology. The most recent in the series is The Poet’s Treasure. Bennett’s life is filled with communication practices across many platforms, but her world continues to turn on the axis of faith, family, and long-lasting friendships.
Mother of three and “Mimi” to many beautiful grandees, her area of scholarly research continues at the intersection of faith, communication, dialogue and culture. She and her husband reside in Florida, USA.
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