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2016 Guest Symposium tackles technology – in our heads, in our churches
Technology, says Peter Denton, resides in how and what we think.
“None of our technology is accidental,” he explains ahead of the 2016 Guest Symposium at Providence. “It is the product of all the choices people have made.”
Denton—an activist, ethicist and writer who has taught at Red River College, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and the Royal Military College of Canada—will argue that ecological, social and technical systems are inseparable when he addresses the October 25 event, themed “Technology and Values: Toward Better Choices.”
The symposium will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the University College lecture theatre and is free to all who wish to attend. Denton will have the floor until 11:30 a.m., after which the gathering will break for lunch. In the afternoon Jamie Howison will explore the place of technology in the life of our churches.
A priest of the Anglican Church of Canada and the founding pastoral leader of Saint Benedict’s Table in Winnipeg, Howison was a member of the Primate’s Theological Commission from 2004 to 2010 and has also served as resident scholar at both Minnesota’s Collegeville Institute and Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
His lecture, beginning at 1:00 p.m., will challenge listeners to think about how their churches currently make use of communications technology, both in worship and beyond.
“What might be some of the assumptions that are at work, informing the way we use this technology,” he asks. “Might we want to rethink some of those choices?”
As far as his own congregation is concerned, Howison says Saint Benedict’s Table made an initial choice to go “low-tech,” although given the equipment they use for music, podcasting and web distribution they’ve had to pick and choose which technologies to employ and which to spurn.
“We have made some very specific decisions about how and why we make use of such technology,” he says. “Part of the ‘alternative vision’ is expressed in offering people something of a Sabbath break from constant connectivity and screen-born media.”
Choice, points out Denton, is not only inherent in our technologies but also crucial to determining our collective future.
“The choices we make about technology will either move the world to a sustainable future for everyone, or it will be sustainable for no one,” he says. “If there are things about our society or our own lives that we don’t like, it’s our responsibility to make better choices today than we did yesterday.”
2016 Providence Guest Symposium (Technology and Values: Toward Better Choices)
October 25, 10:00 a.m.
University College lecture theatre, Otterburne campus
This is a free event, and the public is welcome to attend.


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