On Thursday, 17 December 2020 at 1400 GMT, Dr. Crystal Downing, Co-Director of the Marion E. Wade Center and co-holder of the Marion E. Wade Chair in Christian Thought at Wheaton College, will deliver a presentation entitled, ‘Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication’. It will focus on semiotics, the ‘science of signs‘, and the importance of reading ‘the signs of the times’ (Mt 16:3) as Christians.
People around the world have been forced to become readers of signs in a new way, from coronavirus symptoms to face masks. Whether questioning the six-foot rule, police brutality, or public looting, we have all become amateur semioticians. Unfortunately, answers have become politicized, substituting polarizing rhetoric for critical thinking. This is a prime moment for Christian scholars to discuss the culturally-conditioned signs people employ: an issue relevant to every academic discipline in any country.
Providing an overview of semiotic theory, Dr. Downing’s webinar will suggest that discussions about signs can help diffuse political antagonisms. More importantly, it will demonstrate how the language of semiotics can communicate Christian truth to skeptics who recoil from traditional evangelistic vocabularies. ‘And this shall be a sign for you: you shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger’ (Lk 2:12). It’s all about the power of the sign.
You don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn more about how to read the culturally-conditioned signs of the times by employing semiotics.