Christian Ethics for a Digital Society

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Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.3 X 0.8 X 9.2 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Kate Ott is associate professor of Christian social ethics at Drew Theological School.She also held the position of deputy director of the Religious Institute, a nonprofit committed to sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society. She is author or co-editor of several books, including Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence. She has leadership roles with organizations including Catholics for Choice and Feminist Studies in Religion.


Finally, a book about tech that treats Christians like real human beings. Kate Ott offers a sophisticated, critical, accessible primer on Internet cultures and their discontents. It is not another call for a prudish retreat from networks, nor a ploy to manipulate them for propagandistic ends. Rather, it invites faith to be a guide for creative and savvy participation in building a more just digital world.--Nathan Schneider, University of Colorado Boulder
So many theological responses to the digital age begin (and end) in moral hand-wringing about how much our world has changed, or in 'how-tos' designed to enable more tech-savvy ministers and lay leaders. Kate Ott offers us something else: a kind of moral grammar--or in her language, practices of moral 'hacking'--to navigate our digital lives in embodied, incarnational ways. An improvisational book in the best of senses, this should be read by teachers, professors, students, parents, ministers, and anyone trying to think and act Christianly.--Kathryn Reklis, Fordham University
What difference does it make to engage digital technology as a Christian? Kate Ott invites us to think intentionally and creatively about the shaping effect our engagement with the ever-changing digital world has on our relationships and our community formation. Providing a new ethical language, she orients our reflection away from a rule-based approach toward a relational and imaginative approach, all while keeping context, community, and justice at the fore.--Xochitl Alvizo, California State University, Northridge
[Kate Ott] argues cogently that for Christians to practice ethical internet use, they must be digitally literate. For Ott, this means understanding 'how data is used, information is created, and predictive analytics are promoted.' . . . Ott implores Christians to use technology in ways that honor God, including practicing forgiveness, being socially responsible, and caring for the environment with their technological choices. Ott's book will appeal to Christian technology enthusiasts looking to engage in digital communities.--Publishers Weekly
Ott's reflection on what Christian ethics needs to look like in the digital society goes far beyond the most obvious issues: the addictive and distracting nature of smartphones and their apps, and the grave difficulty that many of us have engaging social media in a morally constructive or even coherent way. . . . Ott goes far deeper than that in this excellent book, one of the first extended Christian ethical treatments of the digital society--and one that every Christian attempting to live in this brave new world should read. . . . Ott fearlessly takes us into the underlying structure and purpose of digital language and makes us think about many of the moral issues that matter most. Her discussions are fascinating.--Christian Century
Kate Ott rethinks Christian moral meaning in the still new technological age from a digitally woke place. She sketches how algorithms can be a blessing and a curse, how hacking can be a positive force, and how the unforgetting nature of the Internet can influence experiences of forgiving. Excursus leaven the text with personal, practical reflections on how power dynamics in this newly emerging reality can either connect or silo, enhance life for a few or, if developed responsibly, enhance for all.--WATER (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual)