A little over a year ago, I attended a conference on technology, culture, and Christian spirituality down at Laity Lodge in Texas. That conference featured Albert Borgmann, the well-known philosopher of technology, as well as those who have found his work to be an inspiration for their own.
It was an engaging and fun conference, but my colleague Al Erisman and I returned from that trip feeling that something was missing from the discussion. Both of us felt that the practical experiences of those who design, develop, and direct technical projects were not yet integrated into the theoretical perspectives of the academics. I also felt that the insights from more recent science and technology studies could add more nuance and balance to the discussion.
In response, I started this blog, and Al started writing some pieces for his journal Ethix. We both spent some time working out our thoughts, and when we met again last fall, we decided to organize another conference, one that would continue the great work done down at Laity, but also build upon it and push the conversation forward in light of our current context.
I want to invite you to join us at this conference. We seek to gather a diverse set of people who are interested in rethinking the Christian commentary on technology for the digital era. Our aim is to start a new conversation that blends the theoretical perspectives from academia with the practical experiences of those who actively work with and on information technologies. Al, myself, and several of our speakers have worked in both arenas, and know how valuable it is to have each of these perspectives inform the other.
The conference will be held this summer, June 22-23 on the Seattle Pacific University campus (Seattle, WA, USA). We have a fantastic set of keynote speakers, the names of which regular readers of this blog will no doubt recognize:
- Heidi Campbell – Associate Professor of Communications at Texas A&M, and author of When Religion Meets New Media
- John Dyer – Director of Web Development at Dallas Theological Seminary, and author of From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology
- Scott Griffin – Former CIO of Boeing, who is deeply reflective about how his faith and his work inform one another.
They will be joined by several other panelists who will discuss the Christian commentary on technology thus far, how communities and individuals are flourishing (or withering) in online spaces, and how we can integrate our Christian faith with our engineering practice.
Space constraints require us to limit the size of this conference, so register early to guarantee your place!
If you know someone who would be interested in this conference, please forward this post to them, or send them a direct link to the conference web site: http://www.spu.edu/digitalsociety.
I hope to see many of you at the conference!