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Techno-demonology: Naming, Understanding and Redeeming the A/Human Agencies with Which We Share Our World.

Szerszynski, Bronislaw (2006) Techno-demonology: Naming, Understanding and Redeeming the A/Human Agencies with Which We Share Our World. Ecotheology, 11 (1). pp. 57-75. ISSN 1363-7320

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Abstract

In this paper I argue that an important strand of ecotheology should be an articulated techno-demonology - an understanding of the ways that technologies increasingly confront us as indifferent or malign agencies. Drawing particularly on the New Testament language of spiritual agencies, I consider in turn three necessary components of techno-demonology. First, techno-demonology needs a taxonomic nomenclature, one which names techno-demonological phenomena in a manner that reveals the specific ways in which the technologies can stand before us as autonomous powers. As a contribution to this task I distinguish between elementals (stoicheia) and powers (dynameis) - between technical systems which have become treated as ends in themselves, and have thus started to control human action, and technologies whose unanticipated side-effects overwhelm their intended purposes. Second, I suggest that techno-demonology should include an understanding of how such techno-demons arise; I thus give historical explanations for the proliferation of technological elementals and powers in the contemporary world. Finally, I argue that techno-demonology should include the redemptive task of restoring technology to its rightful place in creation.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Ecotheology
Uncontrolled Keywords: technology ; theology ; demons ; angels
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 137
Deposited By: Dr Bronislaw Szerszynski
Deposited On: 21 Mar 2006
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2013 00:01
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/137

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