Thursday, August 02, 2007

Once we pointed to the transcendent, now we point to technology...to our loss.

Wired Magazine has an interesting write up on the new stained-glass windows at Germany's Cologne Cathedral. 

Blood-spurting martyrs, biblical parables, ascendant doves — most church windows feature the same preachy images that have awed parishioners for centuries. But a new stained-glass window in Germany's Cologne Cathedral, to be completed in August, evokes technology and science, not religion and the divine.

Stained glass windows used to present biblical narratives and church lessons to help instruct the illiterate and remind people of God.  Now, in Germany, they're being used to point people to technology.

Where once they pointed people to transcendent, eternal realities, now they point people to time-based technologies that may be obsolete before the glass is even completed.  It's pretty sad, but this has always been humanity's tendency: to replace the Creator with the Created.  One might hope, however, that it is not the church that is leading the way.

3 comments:

chip anderson said...

wonderfully said...you shouold read Neil Postman's "Technopoly" and his "Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future." Learning to benefit from technology and being formed and dependent upon it are two different things which the church seems to not be aware of. So how do we recover a transcendent worldview in a techological world that promotes habits of immediacy, which leads to a "World without Windows" as Peter Berger would write. Thanks again for the insightfulness.

chip anderson said...

PS my website is www.wordsntone.com, would you mind letting me post your comment?

Jeff said...

Chip, thanks for the comments. You sure ask a good question. There's a lot to unpack there. help me understand what you mean here: "a techological world that promotes habits of immediacy, which leads to a 'World without Windows'"

That seems like a really pregnant phrase that I'd like to understand better.

Feel free to power my comments.