Digital Challenges

  1. Lemma
  2. Digitalni izazovi
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 19-8-2016
  7. Subotic, Oliver [Author]. Digital Challenges: the Ways of Christianity in the Binary Code Civilization. 13–49
  8. Digital Challenges: the Ways of Christianity in the Binary Code Civilization - Belgrade: Bernar, 2013.
    1. Subotic, Oliver
  9. binary code civilization - church and technology - virtual identity
    1. The book "Digital Challenges: the Ways of Christianity in the Binary Code Civilization" by Subotic is an attempt to connect Christianity with modern times that he refers to as binary code civilization due to its binary codes basis, that is, the way modern civilization is organized. It is divided in two main parts: the first part focuses on establishing the problem – introduction to the problem of technological society from the perspective of an Orthodox priest, while the second one represents an appendix comprised of diverse papers and speeches presented by the author during conferences.

      The first part is of particular importance; hence, it would be considered. Binary code civilization, based on binary codes, has deep roots, according to Subotic, and stems from industrial civilization – its predecessor, and depends on it, but it is able to transcend its possibilities. The main difference between them is the influence span and the possibility of new phenomena creation. One of the possibilities is geography span since all the places on Earth are included in digital maps. This is, according to the author, of great importance to Christianity since all the data can be found and easily accessed. Binary code civilization allows the global access to Bible and the works of Holy Fathers. That is of vital importance for the missionary practices of the Church, especially in places where censorship of Christianity has been present. However, it does bring some disadvantages, such as misuse by the powerful groups. If there is society surveillance, there is an information-controlled society as a parody of free society. In this part, the author warns that there is need for consideration in the field of complete communication area.

      Although the author argues that technologies such as mass-media and diverse means of communication are important and helpful in missionary practices, they inevitably bring about a paradox in everyday situations: while people are getting closer to their faraway interlocutors via communication means, they are getting away from those in their nearest vicinity. Hence, there is less and less real communication. Similar problem is related to virtual identity, which becomes prominent nowadays. This comes in conflict with Christianity since according to it, the center of identity is in Christ and that should not be understood in an individualistic manner (separated from the community), but there should be the connection established during liturgy. The problem of individuality, which Christianity has been addressing throughout history, acquires new forms nowadays and the problem of absentmindedness is very common (for instance, during liturgy or everyday conversation with other people).

      Lastly, there is an open question of “electronic church” need, since that way global access to it can be easily established. However, the author states that this need introduces new potential problems – confession and conversation to a priest during liturgy cannot be replaced by e-mail confession correspondence though it does seem to be an easier approach.

      The general conclusion of the author is that we should be very careful in the binary code civilization since there are many advantages and disadvantages in the modern technologies usage. Although they may foster missionary practices and provide global access to the Holy Books, they can foster virtual identities creations or separate people from real life and community, fostering their individuality, which all directly clashes with Christianity itself. In that sense, Subotic states that technologies use should be constantly monitored by the Church in order to prevent misuse or overuse. His approach to modern technologies is very interesting and important since it accentuates the importance and role of the Church in scientific fields.