Technoculture and Transcendence: Exploring Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy

Some former students have been asking me about the writing project I was working on this past winter at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Minnesota. In short, I was doing research on how the Christian theological/worship tradition might help us pursue human flourishing in an age dominated by the creeping pervasiveness of technology. Technologies both enhance human power and act as a medium between our ‘self’ and nature, between our ‘self’ and other humans and, strangely enough, between our ‘self’ and our bodies. lectureI’m most interested in the ways everyday technologies do this, not the super-new, cutting edge stuff only available to a few. I’m interested in the way these technologies shape our lives and, more positively, how the focal practice of Christian worship (to steal part of an idea from the Catholic philosopher Albert Brogmann) might help us face this challenge. While at the Collegeville Institute I gave two public lectures. One was given at the Saint John’s School of Theology and is available here. It gives you a sense of how I’ve been exploring these issues in the context of Margaret Atwood’s fictional depiction of our age. Thanks Caz, for prompting me to make this more widely available.

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