Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple's 'Magical Realism' the Ipad

This week, in my Theology After Google class, one of our presenters (via Skype) Steve Knight shared some thoughts on the theological implications of social media. In particular, Steve brought up the issue of the sacraments--such as communion--which are best understood as liturgical rather than magical. Something that is magical is done for someone, the emphasis is on a one way action for an individual or group. Liturgical means "the work of the people," something that is done by a group of people for each other.

How Ironic that but two days later Apple launches its new iPad, and what is their ingenious marketing pitch: "Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price."

So the theological question emerges: Does technology pull one ever closer to the magical or to the liturgical? If I were to innovate a new theology and market it with the power of Apple, perhaps my tag line would be: "Our most advanced theology in a liturgical and revolutionary community at an unbelievable price." The only question is...what is the price?


Philip Clayton said...

Isn't the conrast with Apple Magic part of the reason that theology seems so worn out, flat, and uninteresting?

if we don't find a way to do theology in ways that sing, I fear it's dead for the vast majority of younger Americans today -- including Christians!

-- Philip Clayton

Tripp said...

One thing you noticed that mr jobs built up is how anyone will be able to create apps for the device. because anyone can build them he was confident that as the iPad evolves it will be a game changer.

it is a game changer because he has created a platform for the community to create together.

that is some magic our churches could borrow.

Wesley Menke said...

Thank you for the comments and 'google juice' Tripp and Dr. Clayton! Several thoughts come to mind manifesting themselves through scripture:

1."The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.'" John 4:15 In the Gospel of John Jesus offers the woman of Samaria Living Water. This is the kind of sacramental theology we owe it to our churches to be imagining: something that gushes up to eternal life. Note: by sacramental theology I do mean theology that utilizes sacraments, and I also mean a theology that is itself sacramental.

2. "And his master commended the dishonest manger because he had acted shrewdly;" Luke 16:8 If anyone is shrewd in the 21st century it has got to be Google and Apple among others. How can theology be "shrewd" in that it is not afraid to be assertive, to get out there, to be enmeshed in people's life and eventually be a means of salvation/transformation for many?

3. I am still wondering what the price will be? Apple only charges me $499, that's a bargain for magical revolution. Much of Google's products are free.

Philip Clayton said...

Good thoughts, Wesley -- we'll talk more about this next Tuesday... pdc.

Wesley Menke said...

Steve Night comments on this blog.