Deus in Machina: Religion, Technology, and the Things in Between

By Jeremy Stolow | Go to book overview

Calendar, Clock, Tower

John Durham Peters

“What is time?” asked Saint Augustine. He rightly considered this to be one of the great religious questions. His brilliant analysis did not quite solve the puzzle—but then, no one else has done better before or since. Whatever time is, clocks and calendars measure, control, and constitute it. Towers are related media—time-heralds that claim dominion over space via sight and sound. These media—so fundamental that they sometimes are not seen as media at all—negotiate heaven and earth, nature and culture, cosmic and social organization and define our basic orientation to time and space. As such, they are among the most profound technologies of political and religious power and control. Their analysis points to (1) the relevance of old media for understanding so-called new media and (2) the importance of the logistical or organizational role of religious technologies.


Calendar

Calendrical systems are abstract devices of cognitive, political, and religious organization. They are among the most basic of all human sense-making

-25-

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