SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

Modern Technology and the Human Future: A Christian Appraisal

IVP Academic. Dec. 2018. 254p. notes. index. ISBN 9780830852208. pap. $25. REL
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Are technologies unlocking our creative potential or replacing essential human activities? Gay (interdisciplinary studies; Regent Coll.; The Way of the [Modern] World) argues that there's potential for the former but certain social forces are pushing us toward the latter. To start, Gay investigates how current technological advances differ from past innovations. The consequences include those oft-cited, such as reduced attention spans and the loss of creativity. The author proposes that we arrived at this place out of a confluence of science and capitalism, which seeks to objectify our understanding of quality in terms of monetary value and removes the quality of being human from consideration. Gay then explores what the Christian tradition offers to counter this shift. For instance, the notion of "the fall" resists a technological fix for the human condition, or that the incarnation of Christ as God embodies a particularized existence rather than an idealized one.
VERDICT Gay's cultural analysis of technology is refreshing; however, his critique of Christianity's failure to employ its resources would have produced a more pointed study.

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