The first in a series of conversations about faith and everyday life—

Given the ever present nature of technology in our daily lives, there is surprisingly little conversation regarding its meaning and influence on our families, relationships, and spirituality. Most conversations about technology focus on the benefits and ways that technology helps us do things. There is very little conversation about how we as persons are formed and shaped by technology.

St John’s is excited to host a conversation to explore how to think about the role of technology in our daily lives. Drawing on the insights of Albert Borgmann, one of the leading thinkers on this issue, Kenny Benge will guide the discussion. Borgmann argues that to flourish as human beings, we sometimes need to restore what he calls “focal things and practices” – those things that take time and work, but offer a richness not available from a device or machine.

The conversation will take place at Franklin Mercantile restaurant in downtown Franklin, at 7 pm, Wednesday evening, February 2nd. Click here for directions.

For Further Reading:

Web articles:

Albert Borgmann on Taming Technology: An Interview. The Christian Century, August 23, 2003.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is doing to our brains. Nicholas Carr.  July/August, The Atlantic Monthly.

Interview with Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, PBS Frontline website. Some really great insights into technology and family life; technology and education.

The Case for Boredom: Stimulation, Civility, and Modern Boyhood.  Adam J. Cox, author of Boys of Few Words: Raising Our Sons to Communicate and Connect.  The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society.

Staying Afloat: Treading Water in a Sea of Data.  Peter Suderman.  The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society.

Books:

Transforming Our Days: Finding God Amid the Noise of Modern Life. Richard R. Gaillardetz.

The first chapter of this book is one of the most accessible explanations of Borgmann’s key insights I have read.  In the last chapter, he concludes that the liturgy is the focal practice of the church.

The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and “Women’s Work”. Kathleen Norris.

Eugene Peterson says of this book: “…we have a considerable number of witnesses in every generation who counter the devil’s grandiosity and keep our ears close to the ground, our eyes on who or what is right before us, following Jesus in our own Galilees, practicing resurrection in our own kitchens and back yards.  Kathleen Norris, a poet in North Dakota, is a brilliant contemporary witness in this cultivation of mature simplicity in American life.”

Blogs:

Don’t Eat the Fruit. John Dyer, webmaster, Dallas Theological Seminary.

John’s blog invites us to reflect on the role of technology in the church.  Two of his helpful posts pertaining to our conversation on Feb 2, 2011: How Roasting Coffee Helped Me Understand Technology and Theology and Martin Buber on Beautiful girls vs. Sexy Gadgets.

 

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