Faith and Technology: Flotsam and Jetsam

One of the reasons I blog here is to record interesting web links and articles that I’ve come across with a particular emphasis on the intersection of faith, technology and popular culture. Here’s a bunch of things that have come across my desk, email and screen recently.

religiousgames.org is basically an impressive index of religious video games. Definitely worth a look. The site’s creation, Vincent Gonzalez, says “[T]his website builds upon my doctoral dissertation, Born Again Digital: Exploring Evangelical Video Game Worlds. The text as I defended it in 2014 at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill is available here: https://cdr.lib.unc.edu/record/uuid:0ff817de-6bee-4319-9b49-a6af18193eb5.


Pastor D.J. Soto Is Putting His Faith in a Virtual Reality Church | WIRED. Article looking at one response to using the recent affordable virtual reality technology to build spiritual communities.

But Soto, along with a small but vocal group of reformers, believe that the time is right for a spiritual movement to gain momentum in VR. For one thing, social VR is thriving, with a throng of new worlds coming online. As VR has shifted from 2-D to 3-D, the experience has grown closer to the kind of “embodiment” that’s ideal for fully experiencing the sacraments. As the price of headsets drops and VR technology becomes more accessible, Soto sees virtual churches as a way to bolster flagging church attendan


Plough Quarterly Issue 15 Preview: Technology. The most recent issue of this magazine focuses on humanness and technology through an Anabaptist lens. [Hat tip to Matthew Tan at The Divine Wedgie]


Christians and Digital Media | Christ on Campus Initiative. C. Ben Mitchell authored resource by the Christ on Campus Initiative available as a PDF download.

Digital technology is here to stay. We’ve become quite comfortable with digital technologies and even dependent on many of them. Yet despite the number of technologies we use, there seems to be large scale naïveté about technology’s effects, especially the impact of digital technologies. Even otherwise helpful theologians and social analysts sometimes make the unsophisticated claim that technologies are morally neutral; that in and of themselves they are neither good nor bad, but it is the use of the technology that may be right or wrong. If it were that simple, answers to our questions would be much simpler. Unfortunately, the morality of technology is more complicated than we have imagined. 


If you build it, they will pray? Constructing religious worlds with Minecraft. Short USA Today piece on religion inspiring the creation of new digital worlds in systems like Minecraft.


Siri, should I believe in God? How AI will challenge the church | afr.com. Op-ed piece in the Australian Financial Review by Timothy Carone that speaks to the need for wisdom to accompany information

The responses provided by smart content to spiritual and moral questions are randomly selected canned answers. However, these canned answers will soon have to give way to didactic answers drawn from broad sources of content. And who decides the didactic themes present in virtual assistances?

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