David Lewin: Thinking About Tomorrow – Where Theology, Technology and Education Meet

Date(s) - June 7, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Regent College Chapel

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“Greetings my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” These opening words from Ed Wood’s 1959 trash movie masterpiece, Plan 9 from Outer Space, resonate with the principle themes of this talk: theology, technology and education share a fundamental concern with the future. General concepts of progress and development, hope and anxiety, trust and expectation, place us in relation to what is to come, putting the future in our midst. But what is the nature of the relation? Within the Judeo-Christian traditions, theology orients us to the future through a range of specifically religious ideas: the messianic, eschatology, destiny, Parousia (second-coming). Technology places us in relation to the future by virtue of its instrumental character in which the technical means are always shaped by certain ends. Education forms a particular relation to the future by distinguishing between activities that are present oriented (e.g. play) and future oriented (e.g. exercises for an examination). How are we to manage the tensions here between the present (this world; play) and the future (the next world; exercises)? Should the present ever be sacrificed for a promised future? Are the domains of theology, technology, and education mutually illuminating or do they obscure one another on the question of the relations between present and future? And are we really going to spend the rest of our lives there, rather than here, now?

David Lewin’s respondent for this lecture will be Dr. Norm Friesen of Boise State University.

Dr. Lewin’s research focuses on the intersections between philosophy of education, philosophy of religion and philosophy of technology. He is author of Technology and the Philosophy of Religion (Cambridge Scholars 2011) and has co-edited (with Todd Mei) From Ricoeur to Action: the Socio-Political Significance of Ricoeur’s Thinking (Continuum 2012) and (with Alexandre Guilherme and Morgan White) New Perspectives in Philosophy of Education (Bloomsbury 2014) as well as numerous articles and chapters. He has recently published Educational Philosophy for a Post-secular Age (Routledge 2016) and co-edited (with Simon Podmore and Duane Williams) Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy: Interchange in the Wake of God (Routledge 2017).

This lecture is part of our 2018 Summer Evening Public Lecture Series.


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