mercoledì 3 febbraio 2016

Does Digital Communication Encourage or Inhibit Spiritual Progress? Diane Winston

Does Digital Communication Encourage or Inhibit Spiritual Progress? Diane Winston

  • when Sister Catherine Wybourne’s Digitalnun [1] helped form a community of Benedictine nuns [2] in Oxfordshire, England, she knew they could not afford to pursue the order’s mission of hospitality.
  • Wybourne, a former banker who is intrigued by technology, believed a virtual community could express traditional Benedictine hospitality in contemporary form [3].” The sisters launched a website that dispenses spiritual teachings via podcasts and videos, hosts conferences, sponsors online retreats, offers a prayer line, and allows participants to “converse” with the nuns.
  • the nuns embrace a worldwide community, many of whom would not have come to the monastery.
  • unprecedented opportunities for laypeople to study and learn.
  • The ability to pick and choose religious teachings without reference to religious authority or community
  • Overcoming Binaries
  • basing worldviews on alternatives that admit no ambiguity is a zero sum game: If we’re not winning, we must be losing.
  • The relationship between digital communication and spiritual progress is similarly a both/ and proposition.
  • affords new possibilities for spiritual engagement.
  • Spiritual Progress
  • Spiritual progress entails moving toward a deeper experience and awareness
  • Spiritual progress can result from education or from experience; it can be collective or individual.
  • For others, spiritual progress is attained through study.
  • Digital Communication
  • The explosion of online resources offering seekers opportunities to experience nirvana, Enlightenment, transcendence,
  • Occult knowledge is suddenly accessible, secret teachings clickable and esoteric teachings, formerly the province of trained masters, available to all.
  • BeliefNet [10], Bible Gateway [11] and the Vatican website [12] are perennially popular.
  • the first obstacle that digital communication poses to spiritual progress is selectivity.
  • Stig Hjarvard’s argument that media have assumed a key role in social orientation and moral instruction: ‘In earlier societies, social institutions like family, school and church were the most important providers of information.Today, these institutions have lost some of their former authority
  • Elizabeth Eisenstein’s classic The Printing Press as an Agent of Social Change [15] chronicles the impact of Gutenberg’s invention on Western civilization, printing press made possible widespread literacy, religious reform and modern science.
  • “logics” of digital communication—including individualization, commercialization and globalization—likewise
  • Critici: Individualization corrodes social ties
  • Risposta. Although scholars and religious leaders once wondered [16] if virtual religion would undermine real-life religious communities, the contrary is true: Practitioners supplement their real-world religious affiliations with virtual activities, including study, journaling and prayer.
  • Commercializzazione. Mara Einstein argues in Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in a Commercial age. Mormons [18], Methodists [19], and Scientologists [20] have all launched major online campaigns to make their “product”more user-friendly. Ironically, such campaigns have the potential to reach seekers hoping to deepen their spiritual lives
  • The Digital Cosmos/ Chaos “We had the experience but missed the meaning”
-- T.S. Eliot,
  • Caveat: Its democratic nature can reinforce individualization to the detriment of community. Its openness challenges religious authority. 
  • commercialization creeps in, if not from providers than from users.
  • Ottimisti. Jane Shilling’s, suggestion in The New Statesman [21] that digital access has transformed at least one aspect of spirituality -- self-examination -- from an essentially elitest pursuit to a democratic
  • Pessimisti. Valerie Tarico’s belief that the Internet spells doom for organized religion [22]. Tarico argues that web content, highlighting the negative aspects of religious institutions, is a reason for diminishing numbers of adherents,
  • La personalizzazione: Jim Gilliam's "The Internet is My Religion"
  • Altrove la responsabilità della crisi. Internet is Not Killing Organized Religion [24] ,”Elizabeth Drescher writes, “At the end of the day, that is, it is not so much “the culture”—digital culture, secular culture—that is driving young people from churches, it is religious culture itself.”
  • Tesi finale. The challenges that beset us in this realm are not, primarily technological. They are personal. spirituality is a heightened case of human activity, not a special class.
  • Un'esperienza positiva: il diario del figlio sul padre morente. Madrigal explains: "The document became a shared diary of their relationship with their father and each other," he writes: "its tiny movements intimate, its arc gutting.”
  • Sta a noi: Humans find ways to push meaning through the pipes."