Religion and Technology: A Study in the Philosophy of Culture

By Jay Newman | Go to book overview

4
Technology as a Religious Endeavor

RECONCILING TECHNOLOGY AND RELIGION

There can be little doubt that most cultural critics and observers who have been called here by the name of religious antitechnologists would object to being classified as such. They would maintain that they fully appreciate the essential goodness of some technologies as well as certain positive aspects of technology per se. They might also contend that it is misleading to characterize them as primarily opposing something--technology--when they are placing emphasis, in a positive way, on spiritual or existential concerns, such as human freedom and dignity, whose importance they believe to have become somewhat obscured as a result of contemporary fascination with sophisticated forms of technology. However, while they qualify their criticism of technology in various ways, these cultural critics and observers are clearly concerned with general aspects and consequences of technology and not only with aspects and consequences of individual technologies; and they rarely even bother to pretend that they are offering a balanced appraisal of technology, for the tone (and not merely the conclusion) of their analysis of technology is decidedly negative. The label of "antitechnologist" may at times be severe, misleading, and perhaps rhetorically manipulative; but it usefully enables us to distinguish a certain type of critic or observer from other writers and speakers on technology and culture whose program is both narrower and less censorious.

Though the typical religious critic of technology devotes a great deal of attention to revealing and explaining ethical and social problems precipi-

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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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