Church, Globalization and Technology

  1. Lemma
  2. Crkva, globalizacija i tehnologija
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Modes of interaction
  6. 30-4-2017
  7. Subotic, Oliver [Author]. Man, Technology and Runaway World. 130–133
  8. Church and Globalization : Structure, Relations and Consequences 130–133, Man, Technology and Runaway World - Belgrade: Neanika, 2009.
    1. Subotic, Oliver
  9. church and technology
    1. "Man, Technology and Runaway World" is a chapter in the book "Church and Globalization" by Deacon Oliver Subotic. The book follows the role of the Church in the contemporary time and elaborates on globalization phenomena. This particular chapter represents a lecture held by the author on April 17th, 2008 at the Military Technical Institute in Belgrade. “Runaway World” is the title of a famous lecture held by Anthony Giddens, a prominent sociologist. In it, he states that the world we live in is everything but predictable. Therein lies a paradox; science and technology sought to make life more predictable, but made it thoroughly unpredictable. These unpredictabilities are difficult to cope with, and one of them is the ecological crisis that emerged through the influence of science and technology on the natural world. In most cases, critique towards these in the academic circles is from the point of ethics. Science and technology are neither positive nor negative, but the way they are used and the aims they are utilized for. The author further states that a contemporary man has lost moral principles towards other human beings or God. That is the major problem – man has stopped being authentic selfhood. The notion of selfhood differs in Western and Eastern Church. The first one always regarded self-awareness as a part of selfhood, while the other perceived selfhood in the relation to others. Therefore, Western theology gave rise to individualism, and then some deviations occurred which lead to misusage of technology as one’s will. For instance, abortion is justified since it is claimed that the baby has not developed its awareness. If the relation towards others is the key notion of selfhood, this would be avoided. However, the author states that the western model is prevalent today. Therefore, the key problem is the loss of authentic selfhood, while technology is just a catalyzer which makes aspirations feasible, as stated by the author. Ethic values imposed from the outside would bring no solution. The author identifies two core problems in the modern times, specifically information technologies usage. Those are complete surveillance and virtual reality. The first disturbs the right to privacy and freedom and it was largely explored by Michael Foucault, using the example of Bentham’s Panopticon. The contemporary world slowly turns into Pantopticon by the technological means of tracking position or transactions of every individual, security cameras and the like. Another challenge is the attempt to escape into another, virtual world. Instead of real world, they opt to make achievements in the imaginary one. This is obvious when people and children play video games instead of playing games outside, or build imaginary identity instead of trying to change themselves. The author sees these challenges solvable, since there is critical thought. For instance, virtual reality might not be disadvantageous if used in educational or military aims. In the army, simulations are a good practice that brings no harm to the environment and saves money. The author finally concludes that in developing critical attitude toward technology, Church has a very significant role.