Religion and the Internet: a post conference view

Those of us who took part in the Faith 2.0 Religion and the Internet Conference at the RSA yesterday will each of us have carried away different memories of the event. I’m sure that (nearly?) everyone found it immensely worthwhile. It was great to be able to share what was happening in the auditorium with people around the world via the excellent livestream, and the organizers (Durham University and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation) are to be congratulated on their meticulous planning and attention to detail to ensure that everyone was looked after with real kindness.

There was, I think, a tremendous affirmation of the importance of real, face-to-face encounter alongside online or virtual meetings. As I travelled back, I could not help thinking that the internet has unleashed a power we haven’t yet truly understood. Like printing, it enables us to communicate more quickly and cheaply than ever before. Like nuclear fission, it can generate both heat and light. It is an energy, a force, and we are privileged to be shapers of what it will become and how it will be used. Perhaps we need another conference, not about how the internet can serve religion, but how religion can serve the internet to ensure that its power is used for good and peaceful purposes.

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9 thoughts on “Religion and the Internet: a post conference view”

  1. Thanks for your feedback… I came over from your twitter feed… I am pleased/excited with your comment “a tremendous affirmation of the importance of real, face-to-face encounter alongside online or virtual meetings.”

    I think that it is important that the two be combined, rather than always being separate… and yes we are only just now seeing the tip of the iceberg in regards to virtual communications and its use for “good and peaceful purposes.” This generation may not be altogether technically minded but sure as eggs, the next generation will ba and the generations that follow… Church needs to be prepared for that and no better time to start than now.

    Thanks again!

  2. An excellent do, which I vastly enjoyed, although it often felt like trying to get a drink whilst standing under a shower! I’m fascinated by your thought that sincere, grounded reigion could serve (people through) the internet. First generation use seemed to be all about using the internet as a tool; which somehow seems like a more selfish end…

  3. Dear Sister,

    Greetings of Peace. It was wonderful listening to your talk on the Conference. My most favorite and enriching experience in the whole experience was your presence and your talk. It was beautifully presented.

    I am also going to share your talk in my blog: Technology of the Heart as well.

    Peace in Christ!
    Sadiq

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