Techno-Theology

The technological developments of the late 20th and early 21st Century have brought changes to virtually every aspect of social life. Social media has transformed everything from politics and economics to relationships and religion. The Church is both changed and changing through immersion and engagement with technology. Digital culture is the new condition that the Church finds itself in. This new condition requires new approaches and innovative theological conversations and responses.

Six-Week Content Schedule

October 30th - December 4th, 2019 Wednesdays at 1pm PST

This lecture will explore the shift to digitally that has so dramatically re-framed our world. The challenge of our time is not change so much as the accelerated rate of change, and we will look at the various ways that this was occurred and the implications which arise from it. The emergence of what is often called network culture has created a world of complexity, multiple threads of ideas coverage and intertwine and religion rests within them all. We have to learn to re-think the way religion manifests and to recognize that it is inseparable from philosophy and the arts and consumerism, capitalism and technology itself.

This lecture will explore the shift to digitally that has so dramatically re-framed our world. The challenge of our time is not change so much as the accelerated rate of change, and we will look at the various ways that this was occurred and the implications which arise from it. The emergence of what is often called network culture has created a world of complexity, multiple threads of ideas coverage and intertwine and religion rests within them all. We have to learn to re-think the way religion manifests and to recognize that it is inseparable from philosophy and the arts and consumerism, capitalism and technology itself.

This lecture will look at specific theological issues such as conversion, evangelism, salvation, community and ask whether they have a place in the new world we find ourselves in? In an increasingly pluralized world shaped by sound-bytes and one-line wisdom, how do complex theological ideas even stand a chance?

Spiritual disciplines have provided guidance and insight for generations of religious followers with regard to how they should live ethically in the world. In this lecture we discuss the ethics in the digital age and offer new ways of thinking about ethics and values in network culture.

The science-fiction writer Phillip K. Dick wrote a book called, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The robots which populate the story are discovered to have been made from organic materials that make it virtually impossible to distinguish robots from humans. In recent times we are seeing the collapsing of the boundary between the human and the technological. The are robot priests, and avatars, holographs and other ‘technological humans’ that serve us in various locations, what are the implications for human beings when the organic and the digital merge? Is the singularity a future reality? This lecture will explore the rise of the robotic and examine the challenges both ethical and theological.

What happens to religion when technology becomes a key element of both its definition and dissemination? This lecture will look at the role of ritual and communication of religion in network culture? Do old rituals and practices still have a place? Why go to church when you can go online? Is it necessary to perform religion in traditional ways? These issues and more will form the basis of this lecture

Meet Your Instructors

Barry Taylor

Barry Taylor is a theologian-philosopher, musician, artist, academic and writer who has spent more than thirty years challenging traditional notions of religion and church and creating alternative communities built on the idea that life is uncertain, the future is unwritten and that none of us has the answer.

Click here for more on Barry

Kester Brewin

Kester Brewin is a mathematician, speaker and writer and is the author of a number of highly-regarded works on theology and culture. His latest — GETTING HIGH — is an exploration of humankind's quest to reach the heavens and, through the history of the LSD counterculture and the Apollo lunar missions, weaves a theory of religion and technology as symbiotic practices.