This paper explores the concept of “cancel culture” as a site of digital public theology. Amid significant bad faith use of the phrase, there is an underlying insight about norms for public discourse and the concurrent roles of risk and accountability in conversation. The contemporary digital dimension of public discourse produces significant challenges to delineating the publics at hand, while also providing the very platforms on which both debates about cancel culture and the alleged canceling occur. However, the digital may also provide new opportunities for thinking about dialogue and reconciliation as part of public theology.
Stephen Okey as an Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Leo University, where he teaches courses in theology and ethics. He is the author of A Theology of Conversation: An Introduction to David Tracy. He is currently working on a book on public theology in a digital age.