God, Imagination and Digital Reality

God, Imagination and Digital Reality

This illustrated lecture will examine the issues that arise from the possible impact of digital reality on our sense of self, our relations with others (ethics) and with God(religion).

Start Date:
Thursday 30th October 2014
Start Time:
Cairns Church, Buchanan St., Milngavie, Glasgow
Gwyn Kennedy
0141 956 5354
John McDade, former Principal of Heythrop College, University of London

It is difficult now to distinguish between ‘real life’ and ‘digital life’ – so great has been the impact of digital and virtual reality on all aspects of life. Ordinary life is now increasingly dependent on the channels and products of the digital world. But what is its impact on the way we function as people? Is life becoming fused with fantasy? Artificiality seems to be built into so many aspects of this culture. We are dominated by images: people’s ‘body image’, for example, can have damaging effects on their sense of themselves. If you go on Facebook, you construct an image of yourself that you assume others will like. Photographs, that once were thought to reproduce reality, are now a means by which reality can be re-made in a more acceptable form. Social media invites us to construct an on-line identity that may be quite different from our truthful sense of self. What happens to the self in this kind of culture? What happens to religion and the sense of God in this kind of culture?

John is currently a lecturer in Theology at St Mary’s University Twickenham, and formerly Principal of Heythrop College, University of London. He was twice elected President of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain.

A glass of wine or soft drink will be served after the lecture when the speaker will be free to meet the audience on a more informal level.

This is the Roy Paterson Memorial Lecture and forms part of this year’s Thinking Allowed Lecture Series which is shared between Cairns Church and Orchardhill Church in Southside, Glasgow.

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