New Books on Technology, Faith, and Philosophy

There is little doubt in my mind that you’re all anxiously awaiting the publication of my book on technology From the Garden to the City due out in August, but in the mean time 2011 has already shaped up to be quite the year for books on technology and faith.

Several of them are being released in the coming months, and I’ll be reading all of them and reviewing several here and in other publications.

God and Gadgets: Following Jesus in a Technological Age
Brad Kallenberg

Kallenberg is a theology professor at the University of Dayton with a background in engineering and the philosophy of Wittegenstein both of which he has brought to bear in his previous works on Christianity in the postmodern era.

While openly critical of technology’s bewitching, Kallenberg is also quite positive about technology, seeing a redemptive place for it in the Christian community through what he calls a “gift economy.”

 

Digital Disciple: Real Christianity in a Virtual World
Adam Thomas

Adam describes himself, “As one of the first Millennials to be ordained to the Episcopal priesthood, I hope my emerging perspectives on God, Christianity, the Bible, and the mission of God’s people will add a new voice to the ongoing conversation.”

His book came out in May 2011, and I have yet to get a copy, but from all accounts Thomas is a fun engaging writer who balances warnings about technology with a hopefulness that God is still present even in a virtual world.

Facebook and Philosophy
ed. D.E. Wittkower

A collection of short essays from more than twenty philosophy professors, divided into five sections: (1) Facebook itself, (2) The Profile and the Self, (3) Facebook friends, (4) Social Networking, (5) Activity and Passivity

Although the book’s cover is light-hearted and Facebook style “comments” and “likes” are found throughout, the ideas and concepts in the book are all undergrided by and argued from the thoughts of everyone from Aristotle to Heidegger and from Jeremy Bentham to Walter Benjamin.

 

The Mind and the Machine: What It Means to Be Human and Why It Matters
Matthew Dickerson

Finally, in an era in which science and technology offers us so many competing metaphors for what it means to be human (are we just fleshy computers? biological machines?), computer science professor Matthew Dickerson attempts to offer a vision of what it means to be a physical, spiritual, and creative human being. He draws from classical Christian theology and even one of his favorite literary heroes – J.R.R. Tolkien.

 

If you’ve come across any others I haven’t yet covered here, please leave them in the comments. And if you’ve read or plan to read any of these, do let us know!

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John Dyer

In my day job, I work at Dallas Theological Seminary, and at night I write Bible software for countries whose leaders could be called "overlords." This one time, I wrote a book about technology and Christian faith. You can find out more about what I'm up to at http://j.hn/.

9 thoughts on “New Books on Technology, Faith, and Philosophy”

  1. I have not read any of them yet. But I did pick up Digital Disciple for kindle when it was free. If you want to borrow it, in kindle format, it is lendable. Just let me know.

      1. There is another one that I have that is lendable. “Always On: Language in and Online and Mobile World” by Naomi Baron. Again I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet. Picked it up when it was on sale for $0.99 last January. (Oxford Univ Press)

  2. Some others on my radar:

    The Most Human Human by Brian Christian
    The Information – A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick
    How to Do Things with Video Games by Ian Bogost
    The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
    Where Good Ideas Come from – The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

  3. just an opinion… I think it’s “brought to bear” – as in carrying the weight of thought… (cf your notes on Kallenberg’s book). Thanks for all you do, John.

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