Digital life trailers and clips

I like short films, and especially short science fiction films that unpack a particular question or theme (for example, the original short version of ‘9’), so I was interested to see this engaging trailer for a short film called ‘True Skin’ exploring the human technological augmentation and being wrapped in media:

And a few years ago when I was in the midst of writing my PhD thesis on theology and transhumanism I wrote a paper that asked the question of who would pay for the digital heaven that some transhumanists saw human existence being uploaded into. I’m glad to see that others have had the same thought.

Spiritual Outlook: In da bginnin God cre8d da hvns & da earth

The most recent Spiritual Outlook programme on Radio New Zealand National is on digital religion and includes an interview with Rachel Wagner (Ithaca College, and author of forthcoming Godwired: Religion. Ritual, and Virtual Reality).

You can listen to the audio here (as well as MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files). Podcast link is http://www.radionz.co.nz/podcasts/spiritualoutlook

Rachel was also interviewed recently over at Second Life (after death) – Tech 24 talks religion, faith apps and video gaming with Rachel Wagner | Les blogs

Related links:

Baylor University’s ‘Christian Reflection’ publication series (which is part journal, part study guide) has a special issue on the theme of Virtual Lives (including the article “Religious Authority in the Age of the Internet” by Heidi Campbell and Paul Teusner). See Baylor University || Christian Ethics || Virtual Lives to access the whole issue or individual contributions.
James McGrath points to a downloadable book of conference papers (“Visions of the Human in Science Fiction & Cyberpunk”) which includes some reflections on virtual religion. See his post over at: Exploring Our Matrix: A Long Overdue Book: Visions of the Human in Science Fiction & Cyberpunk
.

International Conference on Digital Religion 2012

Hat tip to Heidi Campbell for this conference announcement.

International Conference on Digital Religion 2012
The Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at the University of Colorado-Boulder has announced an International Conference on Digital Religion, to be held 12-15 January 2012 in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

‘Digital Religion” today includes a myriad of examples: an evangelical mommy blogging community, a Jewish online dating service, a virtual pilgrimage of the Muslim ritual of Hajj, offering Poojas on an online Hindu Temple service, a YouTube series of an ex-Catholic nun, the invention of Kosher phones, playing “Al-Quraysh”, a Muslim video game, an Anglican Church on Second Life, or a religious iPhone app like iTalk to God. What is striking about the proliferation of this digital religious culture is not only the creative adoption of new technologies, but also the challenges and possibilities these technologies offer for religious meaning-making in modern society. Both individuals and religious institutions today vigorously appropriate interactive forms of media generating new religious deliberative spaces, religious publics and counterpublics, and competing sources of authority, and collapsing in the process old boundaries of what constitutes the religious realm.


This international conference will bring together scholars of media and religion and producers of digital religion content from a variety of religious traditions to reflect on the implications of these developments. Papers and panels may address, but should not be limited to questions such as:

Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of digital religion ? Relationships between offline and online forms of religious practice ?The emergence of networked religious communities ?The cultivation of authority and legitimacy in digital religious spaces ?Digitization of religion and the implications for scriptural text dissemination and reception ? Mediatization of religion in digital spaces ? Technological mediation and religious authenticity ? Representations of religion in digital platforms ? Intersections of religion and the market ? Influence on the religious public sphere ? questions of mundane, “banal” or “implicit” religion ? Digital religious transnationalism ? Religious aesthetics and sensations in digital forms ? Religions and spiritualities in social networking ? Generational and demographic difference and issues

Digital Religion is a conference of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture. For more information or for the full CFP, contact: Stewart M. Hoover, Director: hoover@colorado.edu, or Nabil Echchaibi, Associate Director: nechchai@gmail.com.

 

The Church After Google

Missed this when it came out last year – an issue of the Princeton Theological Review oriented around the theme of ‘The Church after Google’.

You can get a list of all the past issues here (with download links).

Or just download Issue 43 (Fall 2010) The Church after Google directly (PDF).

Content of issue:

  • Theology and the Church After Google – Philip Clayton
  • The Separation of Church and Status: How Online Social Networking Helps and Hurts the Church – Brett McCraken
  • Gospel Truth in the Age of Google – Rachel Johnson
  • The Canon After Google: Implications of a Digitized and Destabilized Codex – Ched Spellman
  • Faith Comes From Hearing: The Scandal of Preaching in a Digital Age – Matt O’Reilly
  • Virtual World Churches and the Reformed Confessions – Neal Locke
  • ‘Thou Hast Given Me a Body’: Theological Anthropology and the Virtual Church – Travis Pickell
  • Hacking into the Church Mainframe: A Theological Engagement of the Post-Informational World – Henry Kuo
  • Theo-Blogging and the Future of Academic Theology: Reflections from the Trenches – David Congdon & Travis McMaken
  • Theological Blogging: A Contradiction in Terms? – Brian Brock

Hat tip to Andrew Picard.

Mary MacKillop Prayer Space

The Sydney Morning Herald (and associated Fairfax sites) carried this piece (Pray… in 255 characters or fewer) about the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart and the online Mary MacKillop Prayer Space they’ve set up (which is part of a larger Saint Mary MacKillop site).

Virtual Choir

This project is really interesting – the creation of a virtual choir. The original idea can be found here – Virtual Choir Project II: Lux Aurumque – Blog – Eric Whitacre

The lead into the project can be found here – The Virtual Choir – Eric Whitacre
(with links through to the media resources produced)

HT: The Technium: Virtual Choir (with some other comments there)

Social networking links

A couple of short pieces from Harvard Business School about social networking

I particularly liked the quote, “Online social networks are most useful when they address real failures in the operation of offline networks”.