IV Spirituality in the Digital Age
The Spirit Hovers Over Cyberspace>
Judette Gallares, RC
In this article, I will focus my discussion on the influence and effect of the digital culture on identity formation and how this affects our understanding and expression of spirituality in general. I will touch on five areas that have relevance to the topic: (1) culture as medium and receptacle of Christian message; (2) sacred time and place in cyberspace; (3) social networking and sense of identity; (4) the sense of community and relationships in cyberspace; and (5) implications and challenges of the digital era on the spiritual life.
I realize that I will not be able to offer comprehensive answers to the questions that I have mentioned above, but my purpose is to invite people to reflect on their spiritual life in the context of our digital era and to respond to the challenges that it offers.
Culture as Medium and Receptacle of the Christian Message
There are many ways of defining culture. In fact, there are over 200 definitions of culture from different interdisciplinary perspectives. Whatever way one might define “culture,” it is beyond dispute among anthropologists and scholars that culture is like a receptacle that holds the life-blood, moral energy, shared historical and spiritual force of a nation or people. Stories are integral parts of how a culture understands itself. They contain meanings, values, and sense of identity people hold in their culture. How are these stories communicated? Let me briefly scan and show how these stories are communicated through the media of each era.1