We are becoming a nation of superficial and distracted consumers of instant messages and images, a state of being which does not aid engagement in religious and other deep commitments that require a sustained level of reflection and contemplation. In his thought-provoking work, Phillip M. Thompson analyses the shadow elements of technology - nuclear armaments, the bio-engineering of humans, and the distancing of humanity from the natural world - through the fascinating insights of the spiritual writer and monk Thomas Merton (1915-1968). Merton's work offers an important critique and healing resource for contemporary, technology-saturated culture through constructive recommendations which include a balanced approach to work, the careful management of technology, and an appreciation of the recuperative aspects of nature. While understanding the positive influences of technology, Merton urges us not be naively optimistic about its benefits, but to consider the threat it poses to a life of humanity and spiritual connection.
A consideration of the profound issues discussed in this book will interest any reader concerned with the intersection between spirituality and technology, and how to maintain spiritual integrity in a technological world.
Phillip M Thompson is the Executive Director of the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University. He has a PhD in the History of Culture from the University of Chicago and an LLM in Health Law from DePaul University. His publications are in the fields of religion and science and ethics. His previous book is 'Between Science and Religion: The Engagement of Catholic Intellectuals with Science and Technology in the Twentieth Century'.
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction List of Abbreviations Chapter 1 A Contemplative Critique Chapter 2 Avoiding the Nuclear Apocalypse Chapter 3 Reforming the Information Age Chapter 4 Choosing to be Human or Transhuman Chapter 5 Some Balm for Gilead Conclusion: From the Watchtower Bibliography