Bluffton University Colloquium to focus on conservative Mennonite Internet practices

Dr. Gerald Mast, professor of communication, will present the Colloquium, "The Regulation of Internet Communication in Conservative Mennonite Conferences and Fellowships," at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, in Stutzman Lecture Hall.

During the presentation, Mast will report on his research into the diverse and changing practices by which conservative Mennonite communities have engaged with digital communication technology. According to Mast, conservative Mennonites have developed a variety of strategies for resisting personal use of networked computers and smartphones, while at the same remaining commercially involved in a world connected by digital communication systems.

Mast is writing a book that examines more broadly how conservative and old order Anabaptist communities have adapted to Internet communication, including the discovery of technical or social “work-arounds” by which the economic benefits of digital communication can be acquired without experiencing the cultural costs. The conservative and old order Anabaptist groups that Mast is studying include the Amish, Old German Baptist Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonites.

This presentation is free and open to the public.