Web use in 'plain' community


Talk to address Internet in 'plain' community

“Plain Communication in a Digital Age: The Case of the Old German Baptist Brethren” will be Dr. Gerald Mast’s topic in a Bluffton University colloquium on Friday, Oct. 18.

Free and open to the public, the presentation will begin at 4 p.m. in Stutzman Lecture Hall in Bluffton’s Centennial Hall.

Mast, a professor of communication at the university, will report on his fall 2012 sabbatical project. He studied discussions in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church about use of the Internet—discussions that contributed, he says, to a significant division in the church in 2009. He wrote an essay on the subject that will be published in the January 2014 issue of Mennonite Quarterly Review.

Mast’s work is part of a larger project that examines responses to digital communication technologies among “plain” Anabaptist communities, also including the Amish, conservative Mennonites and Hutterites.