Crisis of Transcendence: A Theology of Digital Art and Culture

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Lexington Books, Dec 23, 2010 - Religion - 210 pages
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From the Internet to the iPhone, digital technology is no mere cultural artifact. It affects how we experience and understand our world and ourselves at the deepest levels-it is a fundamental condition of living. The digitization of modern life constitutes an essential field of religious concern because it impacts our individual and cultural sensibilities so profoundly. Despite this, it has yet to be thematized as the subject of religious or theological reflection. The Crisis of Transcendence remedies this by asking a single significant question: How is digital technology impacting the moral and spiritual depth of culture? How can something as ineffable and nebulous as the depth of culture be known and articulated, let alone critiqued? Author J. Sage Elwell suggests that an answer lies in the arts. The arts have historically acted as a barometer of the depth of culture, reflecting the spiritual impulses and inclinations at the heart of society. He argues that if the arts matter at all, they will illuminate more than themselves. Through an experimental interpretation of digital art, Elwell offers a critical reflection on how digital technology is changing us and the world we live in at a level of religious significance. Employing a theological aesthetic of digital art, this book shows how the advent of digital technology as a revolutionary cultural medium is transforming the ways we think about God, the soul, and morality.

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About the author (2010)

Sage Elwell is assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Texas Christian University.

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