Religion and Technology: A Study in the Philosophy of Culture

By Jay Newman | Go to book overview

3 Technology and Progress

THE SECULAR DIMENSION OF RELIGIOUS ANTITECHNOLOGY

Understanding technology better helps us to understand better the cultural relations obtaining between religion and technology; this increased understanding has value as pure, theoretical, philosophical knowledge but can also be useful to the practical person who is interested in influencing attitudes toward religion and technology in hope of bringing about constructive cultural change (or curbing destructive cultural change). Technological optimists and others who are enthusiastic about the positive cultural potential of technology tend to be quite practical-minded by temperament, but there is some irony in the fact that religious antitechnologists and aesthetic antitechnologists who champion the primacy of contemplative activity rarely approach the matter of the cultural relations of spirituality and technology in a detached, disinterested way. Rather, they are inclined to adopt the stance of the polemical reformer, agitator, preacher, or prophet. The preacher and prophet have a pivotal role to perform in the religious life of a community, but if the antitechnologist were to mistake the preacher or prophet for a contemplative type, she would be revealing that her understanding of the complexity of religion is in important ways as limited as her understanding of the complexity of technology. Preacher and prophet normally exhort those who will listen to them to be better human beings and to contribute to the betterment of their society. Nothing could be more practical than endeavoring to get

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Religion and Technology: A Study in the Philosophy of Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1- Religion and Antitechnology 1
  • Notes 31
  • 2- Technology and Techne 39
  • 3- Technology and Progress 73
  • Notes 105
  • 4- Technology as a Religious Endeavor 109
  • Notes 138
  • 5- Religion, Technology, and Culture 143
  • Notes 170
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 187
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